Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Kyle Larson says he has permission to race in Indianapolis 500, per report

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Kyle Larson said Saturday that he has permission from Hendrick Motorsports to race in the Indianapolis 500 if a deal can be completed for him to race in the event, according to a report by Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press. Larson has reportedly spoken to car owner Rick Hendrick as well as team vice chairman Jeff Gordon about his desire to run the Indy 500, with Hendrick’s only request being that Larson not race at Indy this past year.

Larson has reportedly emerged as a candidate for a 2023 Indy 500 ride, with his name being discussed in IndyCar circles about a potential seat in the race next May. However, Larson said that he is not aware of any negotiations concerning him running the race.

“Nothing’s changed. I would love to do it,” Larson told the AP. “It’s just timing and I want to be in the best equipment possible. But I’ve told Jeff and Rick that I’d like to do it and it’s kind of up to them to find something.”

Larson is seeking to become just the fifth driver to run “The Double” on Memorial Day Weekend by racing in both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. That group currently includes John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, but it may receive an influx of company as soon as 2023.

In addition to Larson, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch has also expressed interest in racing the Indy 500, and in September he stated he has permission to seek a ride for the 2023 race — comments that came in conjunction with reports that McLaren is interested in putting him in a car. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who raced full-time in IndyCar in 2022, has also expressed his interest in doing “The Double.”

Larson would be a popular addition to the Indianapolis 500 field not only because of his racing pedigree, but also because of his popularity with grassroots fans for his dirt racing exploits — particularly throughout the Midwest and Indiana, where Larson has victories in events such as Indiana Midget Week and the Hoosier Hundred.

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