Kyle Larson will try to double the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in 2024

CHARLOTT, North Carolina – Kyle Larson will attempt next year’s Indianapolis 500 with McLaren Racing in conjunction with NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick.

The unexpected announcement by McLaren and Hendrik on Thursday finally puts Larson on the path to the race of his dreams. It also means he will become only the fifth driver to compete in Memorial Day Weekend Double, driving the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC, on the same day. John Andretti, Robbie Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch are other NASCAR drivers who competed in both races.

Larson has long said he wants to race the Indy 500, but there was no real opportunity for Chevrolet to compete in the 2023 “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” this May.

His McLaren participation will be owned by Hendrick and sponsored by HendrickCars.com, the main sponsor of Larson’s NASCAR ride.

“Participating in the Indianapolis 500 is my dream and something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – ever since I was a kid, even before I started competing in sprint cars,” Larson said. “I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to it, although it is still about a year and a half away. I’m really looking forward to racing the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 and maybe even getting a win or two that day.”

McLaren didn’t have room for Larson or Kyle Busch this year as the Arrow McLaren lineup for Indianapolis already has four cars. The team expanded this year by adding 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to their roster and recruiting 2013 Indy winner Tony Kanaan for the 500.

To make way for the 2021 NASCAR Cup champion next season, McLaren has partnered with Hendrick to drive his first IndyCar race as an owner. Hendrick Motorsports has won a record 291 Cup races and 10 NASCAR race victories at the 2.5 mile Indy Oval.

Larson is starting his third season at the wheel of Hendrick Motorsports and has been actively seeking to compete in the Indy 500. Rick Hendrick softened his attitude towards drivers competing in other series around the time he signed Larson and teammate Alex Bowman this week he competes in the Chili Bowl sprint race in Oklahoma.

“It was important to equip Kyle with top-notch gear and give him enough time to prepare for such a tough challenge,” Hendrik said. This kind of collaboration was just what we needed to make it happen, and luckily the stars aligned.”

Larson, 30, who just had his third child on December 31, has won 19 Cup Series victories since his debut in 2014. He won the NASCAR All-Star Race in 2019 and 2021 when he won 10 races and his only cup title. The Elk Grove, California native has over 400 career victories in various racing series and disciplines.

“The addition of Kyle Larson, in partnership with HendrickCars.com, to the Indy 500 lineup in 2024 is an exciting development for our Arrow McLaren team, as well as racing fans,” said McLaren CEO Zack Brown. so I’m looking forward to seeing what Kyle is capable of.”


AP Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

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