Photo courtesy of Sean Gardner | Getty Images
Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 driver Kyle Larson will compete in the 2024 Indianapolis 500, the team announced on Thursday.
Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and the 19-time race winner will drive a Chevrolet for Arrow McLaren in the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 approximately 16 months from today’s announcement. His car will be sponsored by HendrickCars.com.
A new name is coming to the Indianapolis 500. ✍️
Welcome @KyleLarsonRacin! 👀 pic.twitter.com/rt6nBirXnT
— Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team (@McLarenIndyCar) January 12, 2023
“Having the opportunity to support Kyle, partner with an elite team like Arrow McLaren and promote HendrickCars.com in one of the world’s great auto racing events is truly unique,” team owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “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.”
Larson has expressed interest in running the Indianapolis 500 multiple times throughout his tenure at Hendrick Motorsports where he has been for two seasons. He has competed in a handful of other major racing events outside of NASCAR. Larson notably won multiple dirt races in 2021 to add to his Cup championship, such as the Chili Bowl, Prairie Dirt Classic and the Knoxville Nationals.
“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,” Larson said to hendrickmotorsports.com. “I’m really looking forward to competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Charlotte (Motor Speedway) 600 and maybe even get a win or two that day.”
The Indianapolis 500 falls on the same day as the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Larson will attempt to run what is called “The Double” where a racer competes in both events that combine to make 1,100 miles of high-octane racing.
“Adding Kyle Larson with a HendrickCars.com 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 to hendrickmotorsports.com. “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.”
Only four other people have ever run “The Double” before: John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, and most recently, Kurt Busch in 2014. Stewart was the only one to finish the full 1,100 miles in 2001, but no driver has ever won either race while doing the other on the same day.
The 2024 Indianapolis 500 will mark Larson’s first career INDYCAR race, but the former champion has shown to be versatile and competitive in anything that has four wheels.
Hendrick Motorsports says the car number and paint scheme for Larson INDYCAR debut will be announced at a later date.
The 2024 Indianapolis and Coca-Cola 600 will take place on Sunday, May 26, 2024. Larson will try to win the 500 miles at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before making the 428-mile flight to Charlotte in time for the start of the 600-mile race he also won in 2021.