Kyle Larson Will Start The 108th Indy 500, Status For NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 Up In The Air

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

INDIANAPOLIS – As rains continued to pour onto the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the possibility of showers delaying the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C., the decision was made for NASCAR Champion Kyle Larson to take the green flag in his first IndyCar race.

The 108th Indianapolis 500 is slated to start at 4:44 p.m.

“The plan is to start the 500,” a Hendrick spokesperson confirmed to Kickin’ the Tires. Additional details will likely be released later.

IMS President Doug Boles first confirmed to the media he was told of the decision for Larson to stay for the Ind 500 during a press update on track preparation after the rain. Until that announcement was made, officials at Arrow McClaren and Hendrick Motor Sports, which put together Laron’s 1,100-mile attempt, had played their cards close to the vest. The only comment coming from official channels was, “it’s a game-time decision.”

The ramifications for Larson are that he will receive no points and relinquish the NASCAR Championship points lead. His No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR team will only receive owner points as Xfinity Series driver, Justin Allgaier, would take over driving duties for stock car racing’s longest race.

NASCAR has yet to respond to a request for comment on a waiver but previously stated an official request would need to be filed when it was relevant. Technically, Larson has not missed the Coca-Cola 600 and doesn’t need a waiver.

There have been questions as to whether NASCAR would grant Larson an eligibility waiver due to the rule that drivers must attempt to start every race to be eligible for championship content. However, it had always been the team’s and Larson’s intention to race in the Indy 500 and then fly to Charlotte after the race to take the green flag there. He has practiced and qualified the car, flying back and forth from Indianapolis to Charlotte multiple times.

Prior to Larson’s attempt, only four drivers have competed in “The Double” as it is called, attempting to race all 1,100 miles. John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch all raced both races with Gordon trying it five times and Stewart doing it twice. Stewart has the best combined finishes of the races when he was sixth in 2001 for the Indy 500 and third in the Coca-Cola 600. Other drivers, including Donny Allison, have run both races when they were held on consecutive days.

For Previous Coverage Click Here and Here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *