2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson is about to attempt a historic racing feat. He will try to complete the 2024 Indy 500 and the 2024 Coca-Cola 600 on the same day while driving for two different teams.
According to a press release issued on January 12, Larson will join McLaren Racing for the 2024 Indy 500, and he will have HendrickCars.com as his primary partner for the prestigious event. This entry will be co-owned by Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.
“I’m super excited,” Larson said in a press release. “Competing at the Indianapolis 500 is a dream of mine and something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – since I was a child before I ever began competing in sprint cars. To do it with McLaren and Mr. Hendrick especially is a dream come true.
“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. 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.”
No Driver Has Won Either Leg of The Double
The Double is the term used to describe a very difficult day of racing. It begins with the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and it continues with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Completing The Double requires traveling between two states in one day and successfully completing all 1,100 miles. No driver has been able to complete The Double and win either race.
There have been four other drivers that have attempted The Double — John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon (1997, 2000, 2002-2004), and Kurt Busch. The 2004 Cup Series champion was the most recent as he took on both events in 2014. Busch finished sixth in the Indy 500 but 40th in the Coca-Cola 600 due to engine failure.
Smoke is the only driver to successfully complete The Double, doing so in 2001. This was his second attempt after he ended the 1999 Indy 500 four laps down. In 2001, however, Stewart finished sixth in the Indy 500 and fourth in the Coca-Cola 600.
Larson is not the only NASCAR driver that could attempt this feat. Both Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson have expressed an interest in taking on The Double. However, they haven’t secured the opportunity just yet.
The Event Will Be Historic for Rick Hendrick
The 2024 season will be pivotal for Larson as he takes on this prestigious — and difficult — challenge. He will pursue more wins, and he will also help Rick Hendrick accomplish another historic feat.
The Hall of Fame owner has accomplished a significant amount in his career. He is the only owner within reach of 300 Cup Series wins, and he has fielded entries for drivers that have captured 14 championships.
Now, however, Hendrick will break new ground with this one-off event. The 2024 season will mark the first time that he has been an owner in the NTT IndyCar Series.
“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,” Hendrick said in a press release. “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.
“It’s going to be very, very special to field a Chevrolet in the Indy 500 as a car owner. A collaboration like this was what we needed to make it happen, and fortunately the stars aligned. We’re 100% committed to doing it right and look forward to working with Zak [Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing] and his organization.”