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via Imago

via Imago

Later this month, Kyle Larson is going to compete in the Indianapolis 500. In all honesty, there hasn’t been this much hype about an Indy 500 debut, since Fernando Alonso in 2017, 2019, and 2020. However, Larson is taking this endeavor very seriously and treating it like he has a genuine shot at winning the iconic race. What’s even crazier is that after the Indy 500, he will hop straight onto a plane to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600.

Honestly, attempting the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 double is not an easy feat. Very few have attempted it or even succeeded. Tony Stewart is a driver who has experienced the best of both worlds, with championships in IndyCar and NASCAR.

However, even he acknowledged that what Larson is attempting is difficult. Additionally, he also imparted some advice for the Hendrick Motorsports star and 2021 Cup Series champion. Tony Stewart said about Larson, “He works out, he eats right, he’s in great shape. He’s a plug-and-play driver. You literally can plug him in and send him off and he’s going to be fine. I think it’s just mentally preparing him for what the day is going to be like, is really gonna be the challenge.”

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“How early it starts and how late it’s gonna end. Those variables are the things that are going to be literally the challenges. To him, the easy part is going to be driving he race cars. For him to be in the race car is where he’ll be the happiest.”

USA Today via Reuters

In essence, he believes that Kyle Larson will be fine from a driving standpoint. However, soaking up the pressure of fan expectations will be a completely different kettle of fish. Tony Stewart acknowledged that for Larson to attempt both races, the Indy 500 should wrap up on time without overtime restarts. That way, he won’t have to scramble to reach Charlotte and risk missing the start of that race. It is difficult, but not impossible, otherwise Kyle Larson wouldn’t have thought of attempting the double.

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Tony Stewart has gone down that road, and to help Larson with some advice he said, “It’s all the things, the tugging, the pulling, media attention that he’s gonna have. Those are the things that are the road blocks. As much as its for great purpose, those are the things that weigh on you during the day. He’s not going to have a moment to himself, that’s going to be the hard part. That’s what’s going to drag him down.”

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“He’s going to be on, from the time he gets out of his motorhome at Indy, he’s going to be on the whole day. He is not going to have time to himself, not going to have time to catch his breath. Somebody’s gonna have a microphone in his face, somebody’s gonna be around all the time. That’s what’s gonna be the challenge.”

He acknowledged that Kyle Larson will come under a lot of scrutiny. As a high-profile name in the NASCAR arena, the media attention will be high. So it is up to him to weather the storm and focus on the Indy 500 itself. Tony Stewart would know, as he has gone through this process himself, and failed to capture the double. Whether Larson can attempt it on his first try, is anybody’s guess.