Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Will Stay in Indianapolis to Focus on Indy 500

With rain showers delaying the start of the 2024 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday afternoon (May 26), it was announced by Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles that Kyle Larson will wait out the delays to focus on completing his Indianapolis 500 and NTT IndyCar Series debut, skipping the NASCAR Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 if needed.

Larson is the first driver to attempt the Memorial Day Double since Kurt Busch in 2014, and he’s delivered in the Month of May with impressive practice speeds and a fifth-place qualifying effort last Sunday (May 19).

If Larson is unable to make it on time for the start of the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Justin Allgaier is on standby and will drive Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 car.

See also
A Helping Hand Behind Scott McLaughlin

Larson is the current regular season points leader in the NASCAR Cup Series, with two wins in 2024 and a 30-point lead over second place Martin Truex Jr. Larson would need a playoff waiver to keep eligibility for the Cup playoffs, which is decided by NASCAR on a case-by-case basis.

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Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch and is a three-year veteran of the site. His weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” He also writes commentary, contributes to podcasts, edits articles and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage.

Can find on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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11 Comments
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Drew

If Kyle Larson does stay at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis 500 that means that Justin allgaier will have to take his place at Charlotte motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600.

Bill B

I was really looking forward to seeing Kyle try the double, but for him to put a hobby above his day job is just wrong.

I almost hope NASCAR doesn’t grant him a waiver.

Charlie

It is a big race, but it feels like if NASCAR gives a waiver for missing because a driver wanted to race somewhere else that day, why even have the rule stating you must start each race? Just ditch that rule and stop worrying about waivers.

M chiz

I’ve taken a day off work from time to time to do something else I really enjoy. I’ve missed a month end because of a planned vacation. What is the point of life if not to live it?

old fan

They gave Kyle Busch a waiver after he broke his leg in his “hobby” car (Xfinity), so they should give Larson one.

Bill B

His hobby was still a NASCAR race. It would be hard for them to allow him to compete in the lower series, and then hold it against him.

Whole different deal.

janice

I have a feeling a waiver will be given cause Gordon and Hendrick was in Indy. They’ll just slip an extra donation to the current favorite charity if nascar.

Echo

Nascar just got a ton of free publicity in all types of media because Kyle ran the Indy 500. Rick wouldn’t have risked getting the waiver without an official ok from Nascar ahead of time. Nascar would have loved one of their drivers winning the 500. This was pre approved at all levels and I can see no reason it should offend any fan.

Charlie

I don’t have an issue with a waiver being granted, it just seems like the rule requiring drivers to be in every race is pointless when everyone gets a waiver. Why have the rule? Drivers have too many contracts and sponsorship agreements already preventing them from just taking off so there’s really no need for it. I’m not saying Larson doesn’t deserve a waiver, just that the whole rule seems unnecessary.

Echo

If it makes Nascar money and a huge amount of free publicity then Nascar is going to approve it. The final decision to let him stay in Indy was all Nascar, bet on it.

Bill B

If that’s a fact then I’m fine with it. Especially if that precedent is adhered to in future cases.

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