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via Getty

via Getty

Ever-increasing prices! That’s the reality NASCAR fans had to embrace as they made their way to Miami for Formula 1’s grand weekend. From $290 for prawns to $500 for a Caviar, the menu at the HardRock Cafe shook the NASCAR community as they took comfort in Martinsville’s $2 hotdogs. Unfortunately, that comfort might not last for much longer.

To commemorate Kyle Larson‘s Indy500-Coke 600 double attempt, the HendrickCars-McLaren driver released the ‘KL17’ collection. Consisting of merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops, the collection was spotted at Darlington’s trailer area. Although the designs received many commendations from fans, the pricing of one item just didn’t sit too well.

Is Kyle Larson’s McLaren collab costing fans heavily?

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As the 2024 Indy 500 inches closer, all eyes in the NASCAR community are on Kyle Larson and the #17 Arrow McLaren. Despite Larson admitting that he’ll prioritize the Cup Series race at Charlotte, fans are eager to support the Hendrick Motorsports driver on Memorial Day.

That being said, those looking to purchase some merchandise to cheer on Larson are in for a startling reality check. The prices from the merch store made their way to X, “Here are the Larson merch prices from the McLaren merch trailer Hats: $46-50 T-shirts: $34-36″

Over the weekend, McLaren and Kyle Larson’s merch store released the KL17 collection for pre-orders. Ranging from $36 for t-shirts to $75 for tank tops, the sudden increase in price when compared to other NASCAR merchandise surprised many fans. Taking a look at Larson’s Kansas collection, which features his iconic photo finish with Buescher, the price addition from the McLaren connection becomes evident.

On the Kansas Closest Finish design, prices for T-shirts are $32 and $50 for hoodies. Compared to the KL17 collection, fans can save up to $15 per item. The KL17 t-shirts cost $4 more, and the hoodies come with a $25 increase in price. As for the reported $45–50 KL17 hats, other Kyle Larson hats go for $30, making it the biggest markup in price.

After taking a look at the sharp increase in prices for the Kyle Larson x McLaren collab, fans were left in spits on X.

The NASCAR community brings up F1’s influence on increasing merch prices

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After the Miami GP food menu prices shocked NASCAR fans, the KL17 collection took things up a notch. With McLaren’s influence over prices visible when comparing it to the usual prices, fans highlighted how the Miami GP may have set an unwanted precedent.

One fan highlighted the HardRock Hotel’s $280 appetizers: “Damn. I can have a few hats and a shirt for the price of a lobster roll in Miami.” whereas others were more direct when sharing their grievances: “#ThanksF1″ For fans used to pocket-friendly prices, not just with the on-track food options but also merchandise, the price of hats from the KL17 collection didn’t sit too well.

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Despite some of the designs satisfying the community’s fancy, the prices certainly left a lot to be desired. A user was split in their opinion: “That white hat with gold writing is slick! But I can’t make myself pay $46 for a hat,” whereas another second-guess their beliefs: “And here I thought $35-40 was too expensive for a hat…” 

For most, $50 was far too expensive for a hat. Other users continued to share their frustrations – “Wow they can keep them hats, shirts I can kinda understand but 50 for a hat, no way” Users also pointed out how Martinsville once again seemed to provide affordable options, “I got my JGR/23xi hats for $35 at Martinsville”

But that’s when some Kyle Larson fans stepped in to justify the hat’s price. An informed user stated; “That’s only about $10 more than what I’ve been paying for NASCAR hats. However those look like legit New Era caps, so you know how they’ll fit and feel. Sick of buying off-brand merch that doesn’t fit properly.” 

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Whereas for other die-hard fans, the price was no barrier, “Cleanest merch in the game. regardless if it’s cup/dirt/indy”. To conclude by giving credit where it’s due, veterans like Brock Beard also commended the designs, “Damn, that graphic on the blue shirt in the middle is beautiful.”

With the NASCAR community pulling no punches against the premium prices of the KL17 collection, do you think prices, whenever F1 is involved, are a little out of touch with American reality?