Larson to run Indianapolis 500 in 2024


Champion driver Kyle Larson will join McLaren Racing for the 2024 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, adding to Arrow McLaren’s star-studded lineup for the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Larson’s Chevrolet will be co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick and carry title partnership from Hendrick is the chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group and the owner of 14-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports, for which Larson has driven since 2021, when he won the NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Additional details, including car number and livery for the Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, will be announced later.

“I’m super excited,” Larson said. “Competing at the Indianapolis 500 is a dream of mine and something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – since I was a child before I ever began competing in sprint cars. To do it with Arrow McLaren, and Mr. Hendrick especially, is a dream come true. I’m grateful for the opportunity and am really looking forward to it even though it’s still about a year-and-a-half away. I’m really looking forward to competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 and maybe even get a win or two that day.”

California native Larson, 30, has proven success at the elite NASCAR Cup Series level. He won the 2021 series title, 19 points-paying races, the 2019 and 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race and the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year award. In his 2021 championship campaign, Larson won 10 points races and led more laps in a single season (2,581) than any driver since 1995.

In partnership with McLaren Racing, the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will mark the first event as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES owner for Hendrick, whose stock-car teams have won a record 291 points-paying Cup Series races. He is also NASCAR’s winningest owner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 10 Cup Series victories on the storied 2.5-mile oval.

“Having the opportunity to support Kyle, partner with an elite team like Arrow McLaren and promote in one of the world’s great auto racing events is truly unique,” Hendrick said. “All of us are competitors. Putting Kyle in top-level equipment and allowing ample time for him to prepare for such a difficult challenge was important.

“It’s going to be very, very special to field a Chevrolet in the Indy 500 as a car owner. A collaboration like this was what we needed to make it happen, and fortunately the stars aligned. We’re 100 percent committed to doing it right and look forward to working with Zak (Brown) and his organization.”

Entering his 12th season in the NASCAR Cup Series and third with Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Larson has consistently expressed interest to race the Indy 500 with Team Chevy.

Pending additional 2023 entries, Larson would become just the fifth driver to run “The Double” on Memorial Day weekend by racing in the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. His double would be the first since Kurt Busch raced in both events in 2014.

Widely regarded as a world-class talent, Larson has a broad resume of auto racing success with more than 400 career wins in a variety of disciplines and types of vehicles on dirt and pavement. His versatility and experience complements McLaren Racing’s investment, strategy and competition in different racing series.

“Adding Kyle Larson with a partnership to the Indy 500 lineup in 2024 is exciting for our Arrow McLaren team as well as for race fans,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said. “He’s a complete driver, known for racing anything on wheels, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Kyle can do in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car. It’s been great working with Rick Hendrick and (Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman) Jeff Gordon to pull this together, so a big thank you to them for what’s to come in May 2024.”

Larson wins Lucas Oil race in Georgia

Larson passed Ricky Thornton Jr. on Lap 48 and went on to lead the final two circuits to win the Jan. 27 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Georgia during the Super Clean Super Bowl of Racing Presented by ICON Electric Vehicles.

The last 20 laps of the 50 lap main event the second race of the season for the LOLMDS proved to be a barnburner as Larson, Thornton and Brandon Overton made it a nailbiter as Larson came home with his fourth career series win and his first at Golden Isles.

Thornton, who led Laps 30-47, finished in second to earn his second straight Big River Steel Podium finish. Overton, who was seeking his fourth straight win at Golden Isles, came home in third after leading the first 29 laps of the contest. Earl Pearson Jr. was fourth, and Hudson O’Neal rounded out the top five.

Overton, who led every lap of the race, was in control from the start of this one, but a caution on Lap 10 for a slowing G.R. Smith brought out the first of two cautions in the race, On the restart, Overton held the point over O’Neal, Thornton and Larson. Larson moved to second on Lap 13 as the second caution came out a lap later for a slowing Wil Herrington.

The rest of the race went caution and proved to be a dog fight among the top three of Overton, Larson and Thornton. Thornton and Larson went toe-to-toe for second behind Overton as those three drivers were using every inch of the race track. Thornton kept his car glued to the bottom clearing Larson for second on Lap 28.

Then two laps, later Thornton did what nobody else had done the first two nights and that was pass Overton who had led 69 consecutive feature laps. When Thornton got by, Overton and Larson then had to battle to stay in the hunt for the win. Larson moved back into second on lap 41 relegating Overton to third. Meanwhile out front Thornton kept his line as Larson and Overton stayed close. Overton got back by Larson for second on Lap 45.

But Larson never gave up and charged to the outside of the track, going by Overton and eventually Thornton on Lap 48. Larson then opened up enough of a gap to cross the finish line ahead of Thornton and Overton for his first win of 2023.

Larson, in his on-track post celebration, ended up nose-first into the Turn 3 wall as he limped his car to Victory Lane.

“I feel bad that I tore up a perfectly good race car,” Larson said. “I think this takes the cake as far as an embarrassing moment. I don’t know what to say. I want to say I am sorry to Kevin Rumley. What a race. I was so excited after the race, because that was an awesome race. There were so many moments out there. I almost got by Overton, and I got too cute. I tried to throw a slider into one and two and I should have known I wasn’t going to clear him and that allowed Ricky to get by me and I thought that was the end of the race.”

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