In a short amount of time Kyle Larson has established himself as one of the more promising young drivers in NASCAR.
Last year, in what was his first season behind the wheel of a stock car, the 20-year-old USAC driver won the K&N Pro Series East title. If that wasn't impressive enough, in four starts in the Camping World Truck Series he posted three top-10s including a runner-up finish at Phoenix.
Larson's ascent caught the eye of Chip Ganassi, who signed him to a developmental deal last season, and announced on Wednesday that Larson would compete this year in the Nationwide Series in a car fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports.
The deal calls for Larson to drive the full Nationwide schedule in the No. 32 Chevrolet, working with crew chief Trent Owens. Sponsorship will come from various companies already associated with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Because of what he has accomplished already in his brief NASCAR career, there will be pressure on Larson to produce results. And it's managing those expectations that will be one of the heralded rookie's biggest tasks this season -- a challenge he is prepared to meet head-on.
"I know I have a lot of pressure on me," Larson said. "I try not to pay attention to it at all.
"Every week, just try to go out and do the best I can and try to finish in the top 10 in each race and log as many laps as I can. Each lap is just going to help me develop as a driver. I'm going to need that since I'm really young and hopefully be in a sport a long time. [I will] just try to develop as much as I can this year and do better in the future."
However, this doesn't mean Larson isn't setting the bar high for himself in 2013, as he stated that he would "like to win at least a race or two" and "hopefully contend for the championship."
The plan is for Larson to run a couple of seasons of Nationwide for Turner and then hopefully, if all goes well, for him to eventually make his way to the Sprint Cup Series.
Most importantly, Ganassi wants to take it slow with his younger driver and not push him along before he's ready.
"We feel that he's certainly capable of it," Ganassi said. "I don't think we're rushing him along or anything like that. Like I said, he's shown great ability in anything he's driven so far.
"I don't want to get ahead of ourselves here. He hasn't even run a Nationwide race yet. Let's just go one step at a time here. All we're doing is looking to get him some seat time."
Larson will make his Nationwide debut Feb. 23 in the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.