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Daniels believes the character test for Team #5 will pay dividends in 23

CONCORD, NC – The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season was a test run for Team Principal Cliff Daniels, Driver Kyle Larson, and Team No. 5

In the previous season, the stars fully lined up for the cast. A 10-win season, an All-Star Race win and a championship were delivered in 2021 by Larson, Daniels and the No. 5 team.

“We enter 2022 with high expectations,” Daniels told SiriusXM NASCAR radio this week. “We certainly had a fairytale year in 2021. It was a big deal for our team, Kyle and the way we all got through that year and learned and grew together.

“What a contrast it was for us to the way 2022 was. Every step along the way in 2022 – I’ve said this to the team several times – our character has been tested. It took a while for the team to see how there would always be a challenge ahead of us outside of just competing in a normal race.”

RELATED: Team #5 finishes third in the owners standings after the Phoenix race

The 2022 season saw Larson and the No. 5 team win three races – Auto Club Speedway in February, Watkins Glen International in August and Homestead-Miami Speedway in October. The team made Championship 4 for the owner title thanks to Homestead’s victory and finished third in the owner’s standings.

However, Larson was eliminated in the drivers’ playoffs after Round 12 at Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and would finish seventh in the drivers’ standings.

“I’m still struggling to accept that what stopped us from advancing the way we wanted to in the playoffs was poor execution and things we could control,” Daniels said.

“We’re certainly going to remember those moments. We’re going to catch them and learn from them and be better because of it. End it all with a bow and that’s how we’re going to learn and attack in 2023. I think it’s going to give us a good start.

“I think we learned enough and had to dig deep enough to build our character to carry him into next year. Not just for the start of the season, but to really take you through the season. I have a lot of faith in our team, in Kyle and in all the people who work on our car and go over the fence.”

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