Kyle Miyata Larson, 24 years old from Elk Grove, CA, became the first Japanese-American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race yesterday at the 2016 Pure Michigan 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan.
After becoming the first Asian-American Rookie of the Year in 2013 for his wins in the Nationwide Series, he advanced to the prestigious Sprint Cup Series the following year.
The city of Elk Grove takes special pride in Kyle, giving him a key to the city in 2014. Mayor Gary Davis describing his rise in car racing, says, "He might be doing for NASCAR what Tiger Woods has done for golf." Larson seems to be ready to give back to his town and his fans.
"Larson, dressed in a suit and tie, stayed outside for two hours in 96-degree heat signing autographs and posing for photos with every single person who waited in line. " (Holly Cain, NASCAR.COM)
Larson's grandparents, like many Japanese-Americans, were interned in camps in Tulelake, CA, during World War II, which ultimately led to them settling in California.
In 2014 Kyle welcomed his first child, Owen Miyata Larson. Perhaps the proud legacy will continue.