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Kyle Larson Looks South of the Border as the Replacements for His Double Header Are Revealed by NASCAR Insider

Published 05/15/2024, 4:45 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Legends make history and Kyle Larson is planning to etch his name on that spot by attempting the ‘Double Duty’. Imagine the rush of racing 1,100 miles across two of the most demanding tracks in motorsport, all in one day! Larson is planning to race 500 laps at Indy500 and then 600 laps at the Coca-Cola 600. This is no simple feat, and a successful attempt was only made once by Tony Stewart. It’s crucial to note that to date, no one has won both races in one day.

While Larson is ready to take on the challenge, this time his biggest opponent is not the racers but the weather! While he may have control over his cars, one cannot tell when it’s going to rain, and this adds another level of complexity to this attempt. However, the Hendrick Motorsports driver isn’t going unprepared.

Kyle Larson has some solid contingency plans

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Kyle Larson is brimming with confidence as he prepares for both the races. If he makes it, then he will be making history and it will be a monumental day for the sport. Even veterans like Dale Earnhardt Jr are rooting for him, saying,Anytime that we have one of the NASCAR guys going to compete, that’s a big deal. I mean, I can’t describe how important and cool and great that is for motorsports in general.” 

But there’s a cloud hanging over Larson’s historic attempt, quite literally, as the day one of the Indy 500 practice week was impacted by inclement weather for the third straight year. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, his dreams will just remain as dreams. But Larson is optimistic, saying, “Yeah, hopefully, that doesn’t, you know, arise.” However, backup plans are in place.

They have Brazilian racer Tony Kannan on standby to take over at Indy500. Larson was clear, and he said that the Charlotte Motor Speedway race was the priority for him. He said, “When it probably gets to a certain point, I have to leave, because the Coke 600 is the priority that weekend, and chasing another NASCAR championship is the priority.” It was confirmed by motorsport journalist Bob Pockrass on Twitter. He said, “Would expect Allgaier to be on standby for Larson for 600 weekend, but the priority for Larson is the 600. Tony Kanaan is the backup/standby driver for the Indy 500 if it rains/gets delayed.

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But chances of the attempt going for the toss are further possible now that the Indy 500 practice got rained out!

All rain and a rough start on the trackside for the No.5  Hendrick Motorsports star

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While Mondays are no one’s favorite, it was particularly bitter for Kyle Larson. It was Larson’s final tune-up before he began his Indianapolis 500 prep and ended up in a disaster. He ended up rolling his sprint car profusely five times and crashed at Kokomo Speedway. Larson said it was, “probably the worst night I think we’ve ever had in spring racing.” However, the NASCAR star brushed off the disastrous Monday and made the 65-mile journey back to the track, hoping to forget the Monday night. However, sadly for him, the scenario didn’t change much,

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The opening day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was washed and Larson was able to turn only two laps before the session was halted. Notably, what Kyle Larson is attempting ​​is phenomenal and was first attempted by John Andretti in 1994. Even a legend like him didn’t have a successful attempt and after him, Roby Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Kurt Busch all tried their hands. However, all their attempts saw an unfortunate end except Stewart.

Now, while the chances of attempting both do look bleak, we only hope the weather has a change of heart. Larson attempting this, as Dale Earnhardt said, is good for the motorsport community and fans are eager to see someone ace it.

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Written by

Sagarika Das

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Sagarika Das is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports, where she is involved in the event coverage side of things. She brings some of the most exciting and unpredictable post-race interviews from the Cup series to her readers. On the subject of drivers being vocal after the race, Sagarika has done plenty of stories on Denny Hamlin, who she thinks never disappoints when it comes to speaking his mind on the mic.
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Edited by

Ariva Debnath