Kyle Larson Secures Second Row Starting Position in Indy 500, Finishes 3rd in NASCAR All-Star Race

auto may 18 ntt indycar series indianapolis 500 qualifying
Kyle Larson's 'Double' is confirmed with Indy QualIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

The Kyle Larson 'Double' is off to a historic start the weekend before the Indianapolis 500 as the 2021 NASCAR Cup Champion qualified fifth for the historic open-wheel race and then flew across the country to finish third in the NASCAR All-Star Race without practicing.

Next weekend, Larson will run 1,100 miles in the Indy 500 and the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"It was a fun day I'll never forget." Larson told FOX Sports, "I felt like I could get the hang of things relatively quick, thanks to Harvick."

Kevin Harvick qualified the No. 5 for Larson so he could focus on Indianapolis, and that paid off for the temporary Arrow McLaren driver and three-year Hendrick star.


I'm happy with the day, to end with a top five on a track that I've never been to. I know we raced it last year, but it was way different."

After the resurfacing of North Wilkesboro, the racing surface has created a very new race for the NASCAR drivers. So, while Larson won here last year, the change was noticeable without practice and qualifying.

After qualifying fifth for the 108th running of the Indy 500, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Larson boarded a helicopter from Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the local airport, then a flight to North Carolina, and then a second helicopter to North Wilkesboro Speedway. He would go on to finish third behind Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin.

Logano, the 2022 Cup Champion, led all but one lap to win the Million Dollar All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Larson won the event last year at the last

Larson has been attempting doubles as often as possible leading up to the one, racing in the Wild West Shootout in Vado, New Mexico, and the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this January.

With his work in running and racing in the new High Limit Sprint Car Series, he continued this year to add dates to his NASCAR weekends. Always explaining that while the Cup Series is first, everything else still matters when it comes to racing.

No one could knew for sure that Larson would make it to the “Fast 12” and the “Fast Six”, and during Saturday qualifying, McLaren went through the highs and lows of Indianapolis 500 qualifying as the team dealt with repeated peleum fires, deleted times and other mistakes.

Larson went out to qualify seventh and leaped to a provisional pole position. His teammate Alexander Rossi followed, and then the Penske crew eclipsed their runs with the Penske Front Row. Never even in Larson’s wildest dreams would he have performed this well in a first effort.

Larson explained that the team that Arrow McLaren provided him and the car were what allowed him to perform as well in Fast 12 and Fast Six qualifying.

“It’s a great team, really.” Larson told NBC Sports, “They prepared an awesome race car that stuck to the race track and also has speed. Qualifying went a lot better than I ever could hope or anticipated.”

Larson returns to Indy tomorrow to practice from 1:00-3:00 PM EST to prepare for his run.

You Might Also Like