Larson keeps the door open to future Indy 500 run

Matthew Thacker/Motorsport Images

Larson keeps the door open to future Indy 500 run

IndyCar

Larson keeps the door open to future Indy 500 run

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The long-held dream of Robin Miller just might come true if the right opportunity is presented for reigning NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Larson to take part in his first Indianapolis 500.

As one of the oval ace’s greatest advocates, the late RACER reporter was never shy in calling for NTT IndyCar Series team owners to make a seat available for the 29-year-old Californian, and with the recent approval granted by Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon, Larson told the assembled press at Daytona International Speedway that he’d be up for the challenge.

“I think it’s too late in the game for this year,” Larson said. “If I ever run the Indy 500, I want to be prepared. I want to show up with the feeling that I have a shot to win. I don’t want to just show up and be like, ‘oh I get to compete in the Indy 500, that is really cool’. I want to go there and be confident and know that I have a shot to run up front. With that takes a lot of preparation, a lot of work and I don’t think that’s something you can fully get done in a few months.”

Although he’s expressed an interest in the past, this is the first time Larson’s been given the green light from his employer. As part of Team Chevy’s NASCAR family, Larson’s best options would be found among the Chevy-powered IndyCar teams, with Team Penske, Arrow McLaren SP, and Ed Carpenter Racing serving as the most competitive landing spots to consider. Gordon also mentioned Hendrick Motorsports’ future interest in competing in other, unnamed series outside of NASCAR.

At present, Hendrick is already involved in one racing venture outside of stock cars as the co-entrant of the No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype which partakes in the longest IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races. Whether Hendrick would entertain joining forces for an Indy 500 co-entry for Larson, or look to assemble a program of his own, is unknown.

“I mean down the road, I’d like to do it, but I want to do it when the time is right and right now in February 2022 is not the right time,” Larson reiterated. “I think it is something more so down the road, but I definitely want to do it someday. It was cool to read [Jeff Gordon’s comments] that said they were open to it, and yeah, we will see.”

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