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Kyle Larson’s Wife Katelyn Explains Origins Of Her Beer-Chugging Celebration
Katelyn Larson said the unique tradition got its start thanks to several other NASCAR stars.
Kyle Larson’s wife Katelyn has a unique way of celebrating her husband’s NASCAR wins: shotgunning a beer in Victory Lane.
The display—captured last year by NBC after Kyle Larson won the NASCAR Cup Championship Series—has become somewhat of a tradition for Katelyn Larson.
“This is what Katelyn does,” one commentator said in the awe-inspiring clip. “She will shotgun a beer and has no shame in that, and impressive form, actually.”
Katelyn explained to USA Insider's Stephanie Gomulka that the distinctive tradition actually began with the help of a couple other NASCAR stars.
“(It) got started probably a couple of years ago on a family vacation with Clint Boyer challenging Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. shotgunning a beer or something,” she said. “I just kind of started celebrating like that in Victory Lane whenever he won.”
Although she’s become known for her chugging skills, Katelyn said the tradition is currently on hold, revealing she's pregnant with the couple's third child.
Katelyn made the comments Thursday night at the premiere for USA Network’s “Race for the Championship,” which follows NASCAR drivers and their families on and off the track.
The series offers viewers a rare glimpse of the behind-the-scenes racing world and focus on the 2022 Cup season and playoffs.
Along with the Larson family, the 10-episode series airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, features past champions including Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, along with other drivers eager to make their mark in the competitive racing industry.
Kyle Larson told Gomulka that he believes the series will give fans a new way to connect with their favorite drivers.
“I haven’t seen any of the episodes that I’m even in, so (I) don’t know what they’re going to see about us, but I think it’s just getting a glimpse into seeing our lives away from the race track, (which) to me would be the most compelling thing to view,” he said.
He believes the series will also humanize the drivers who take the track.
“I mean, we put our pants on the same way everyone else does, so for people to get to see that we are normal like them, I think it’d be good,” he said.
Larson has made a name for himself in NASCAR racing for Hendrick Motorsports, a team with a long history in the industry.
Former NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, who now serves as vice chairman of the racing house, has served as a mentor for Kyle behind the wheel and beyond.
“He’s given me lots of advice here and there about racing, about family, about anything, so it’s good to have your boss also be your friend and a past competitor you’ve raced with,” he said. “He understands the lifestyle, he understands the mental side of it, so anytime you can get advice from a multi-time champion like that, both on and off the track, is good.”
While Katelyn Larson is a spirited cheerleader for her husband, she admits that sometimes being the wife of a race car driver can be terrifying, like in April of 2019 when Kyle’s car flipped during the final lap of the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway.
The crash sent Larson’s car slamming into the speedway’s inside retaining wall, lifting it off the ground and sending it rolling at least six times before it came to a stop, according to Autoweek.
“Everything happens so quick, and he gets out quick, so that’s helpful,” Katelyn said of how she copes. “I think that if there’s any time stopped, that’s when I get nervous.”
Can't get enough NASCAR action? Watch “Race For The Championship,” which follows the lives of NASCAR's biggest stars on and off the track, Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network. And catch up on all race action on Peacock.