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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

Kyle Larson turned up in big fashion at the Vegas race prior to Phoenix. He was P1 in qualifying, swept both stages, and picked up his second consecutive Vegas victory at the Pennzoil 400. However, the next weekend, shattering Chevrolet’s dominant early-season run, the #5 finished P14 in a race that saw Toyota gather all the cheers and accolades.

But as Larson’s impressive early season run gathers momentum 4 races into 2024, his much-talked-about IndyCar debut, the “Double Duty” he will pull on Memorial Day at the Indy 500 flagship event, which will also see him take part in the Coca-Cola 600, has been making all the noise for the #5’s paddock. Interestingly, his former Chip-Ganassi Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, was the last to attempt this iconic feat on May 26th, 2014. And it made complete sense for Larson to reference Kyle Busch’s brother when telling Dale Jr who he would look to “lean on” for help, on the latest episode of the Dale Jr Download.

Kyle Larson Looking for Kurt Busch before the Indy 500

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Busch’s own attempt was cut short at the Coca-Cola 600 after he finished 6th in the Indy 500 at IMS just a few hours prior. Out of 5 drivers, Tony Stewart is the only one to take on and complete all 1100 miles of this monumental challenge, and Larson will be looking forward to adding his name to this highly exclusive list.

After a mid-pack Phoenix run for #5 last Sunday, Dale Jr took to his widely acclaimed podcast recently to ask, “Is there a driver in the series that you’re leaning on to help you with all this?”

The 2021 Cup Series champion underwent his IndyCar orientation late last year. He underwent his first test in an actual IndyCar just last month. Even if he is one of the greatest drivers to grace this generation, it is only natural for Young Money to need some guiding hand as he steps into a very different discipline. The #5 went on to answer Junior, listing some very important names.

“Really, I haven’t talked to too many drivers yet, Tony Kanaan’s been the guy when I’ve been at these tests, that’s been one to really point things out and help me as it gets closer you know.” Kanaan is an IndyCar veteran through and through, even winning the 2004 Series championship.

Kyle Larson then proceeded to talk about Kurt Busch’s prior experience at the Indianapolis 500 and how he could transfer some over for his own challenge at the Memorial Day double. An excited Larson stated, I really foresee myself kind of leaning on Kurt Busch a fair amount if he wants me to… He was my teammate at Ganassi for a couple of years there so… And he’s had great experience at the speedway in the IndyCars.”

A Call for Help from the HMS #5

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Hendrick Motorsports driver #5  will team up with IndyCar team Arrow-McLaren and engine-builders Chevrolet for his attempt at the “Hendrick 1000” feat. Though not one to usually seek assistance behind the wheel, the California native admitted he is “willing” to ask for help as he prepares for another record-breaking attempt.

“Yeah, I plan on talking to him and anybody else too who’s willing to want to help me…” He continued, “But I’ve never been the type of driver to go seek out a bunch of advice, you know. I don’t want to confuse myself with things I don’t want to have to filter through what everybody’s saying.”

Read More: Kyle Larson’s Fanbase Witnesses Massive Surge With IndyCar World to His Aid

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After 9 long years in the premier division of stock-car racing and having run more than 300 races and counting, his experience gained through those years, shone through with this statement. The unforgiving nature of motorsports and competition is best enjoyed when unpredictable. Kyle Larson emphasized, “You almost have to try and figure some things out on your own.” 

And it looks like, indeed, he will. The fans await with bated breath a record-breaking event for Larson as well as Hendrick Motorsports. Only time will tell if he can truly surpass the last NCS driver to attempt the infamous 1100 miles.