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Kyle Larson: Kyle Larson 18th in Indianapolis 500; heading to NASCAR race...

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Published Time: 26.05.2024 - 22:05:00 Modified Time: 26.05.2024 - 22:05:00

Even though Larson had no chance to complete every lap of both races, he insisted on finishing the day in Charlotte, where Justin Allgaier had started the Cup Series race in his place. There were 275 of the 400 laps left to run there, and Larson hoped to climb into his No. 5 car in time to take a second checkered flag. Kyle Larson


"I would definitely love to be back next year," Larson said afterward. "Feel like I learned a lot. Made a couple of mistakes early there with the restart -- not sure what I did there. Feel like I did a really good job after that and was able to learn a lot."

Larson started fifth and spent most of the 200-lap race -- won for the second time in a row by Josef Newgarden -- hanging with the leaders. But he made a minor mistake going through the gears on an early restart and lost 10 spots, then made a major one later in the race, when Larson locked up the tires entering pit road and was caught speeding.

Larson was sixth at the time but had to drive through pit road again to serve the penalty, shuffling him outside the top 20. He managed to pick up a couple of spots over the last 70 laps but never got a caution that could have given him a chance.

"It killed our opportunity," Larson said of the pit-road mistake. "Could have executed better."

Even though Larson had no chance to complete every lap of both races, he insisted on finishing the day in Charlotte, where Justin Allgaier had started the Cup Series race in his place. There were 275 of the 400 laps left to run there, and Larson hoped to climb into his No. 5 car in time to take a second checkered flag.

Kyle Larson did not start both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 as he had hoped to, but he did wind up leading laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway late in the race. James Gilbert/Getty Images

"I've been around Kyle a little bit through my career. He's a remarkable driver," NASCAR driver Noah Gragson said, "and to be able to see one of our guys who we've raced with every weekend go and try a different discipline of motorsports is really cool."

Arrow McLaren fielded the car for Larson in a partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. With rain in the forecast all week, the big question entering Sunday was whether NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick would pull the plug on the effort and send Larson to Charlotte early so that he could race for stage points and help his chances in the Cup Series playoffs.

But when the rain ended, a spokesman for Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that the Indy 500 would be the priority.

Hendrick was on hand in Indianapolis to watch the race, along with Jeff Gordon, the vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports who largely grew up in Indiana and once dreamed of running the Indy 500. They were joined by hundreds of other fans who gathered around the No. 17 car when it was pushed to the grid an hour before the drop of the green flag.

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