The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson will be vying for the Memorial Day ‘Double Duty’ challenge by competing in both the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2024.
In an announcement made on Thursday, January 12, Larson, who pilots the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup circuit, will also be piloting a Chevrolet entry for Arrow McLaren in the NTT IndyCar Series for the 108th running of the Indy 500. Larson’s McLaren entry will be back by his Cup Series owner Rick Hendrick, who will co-own the entry, and sponsored by HendrickCars.com.
The announcement comes as Larson, who will attempt to make his IndyCar debut next season, is coming off his eighth full-time season in NASCAR’s premier series and second driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Having won the 2021 Cup title on a strength of 10 victories and during his first season at HMS, Larson achieved three victories before finishing in seventh place in the 2022 final standings. He also achieved a total of four poles, 13 top-five results, 19 top-10 results, 635 laps led and an average-finishing result of 14.1 throughout the previous Cup season.
“I’m super excited,” Larson, a 19-time Cup winner, said. “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 600 and maybe even get a win or two that day.”
In announcing his plans for the ‘Double Duty’ challenge, Larson will attempt to become the fifth competitor to accomplish the feat that was first started by the late John Andretti in 1994 and was soon followed by Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch.
Busch is the latest competitor to pull the ‘Doubly Duty’ feat in 2014, where he competed between Andretti Autosport and Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart, who competed in the double twice (1999 and 2001), is the lone competitor to successfully complete the double’s 1,100 miles of racing between the two events in the same day after finishing sixth at Indy with Chip Ganassi Racing before finishing third at Charlotte with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Like Larson, the 2024 ‘Double Duty’ bid will also mark a new first for team owner Rick Hendrick, who will own an IndyCar entry for the first time in his career. The 2023 season is also set to mark Hendrick’s 40th season as an owner in NASCAR’s premier series, where he has accumulated an all-time record 14 championships and 291 victories. He has also accumulated 239 poles, 1,190 top-five results, 2,045 top-10 results and 77,317 laps led.
“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. “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.”
Like Larson and Hendrick Motorsports, the 2024 season will also mark McLaren’s first participation in the ‘Double Duty’ challenge in a storied career highlighted with 12 drivers’ championships, eighth constructors’ titles and 183 victories in Formula One competition. The McLaren manufacturer has also made a total of three trips to Victory Lane in the Indy 500 three times, with the first occurring in 1972 with Mark Donohue. After achieving a second Indy 500 victory with Johnny Rutherford in 1974, McLaren’s latest Indy 500 victory occurred in 1976 with Rutherford.
The Arrow McLaren team, which has been rebranded from Arrow McLaren SP, is set to field three full-time entries in this year’s IndyCar season for drivers Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi. The 2013 Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan is also set to pilot a fourth Arrow McLaren entry for this year’s 107th running of the Indy 500.
“Adding Kyle Larson with a HendrickCars.com partnership to the Indy 500 lineup in 2024 is exciting for our Arrow McLaren team as well as for race fans,” Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, added. “He’s a complete driver, known for racing anything on wheels, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Kyle can do in an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car. It’s been great working with Rick Hendrick and [Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman] Jeff Gordon to pull this together, so a big thank you to them for what’s to come in May 2024.”
Additional details regarding Larson’s number and car livery for the Indy 500 remains to be determined.
With his plans for the 2024 Memorial Day weekend set, Larson’s 2023 Cup Series season is set to commence at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the second annual Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum, which will occur on February 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. This event will be followed by the 65th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, which will occur on February 19 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.