Kyle Larson at risk of Indy 500 exit due to conflicting NASCAR race

Kyle Larson at risk of Indy 500 exit due to conflicting NASCAR race

Kyle Larson could be at risk of being pulled from this weekend’s Indy 500 as the event is scheduled just before NASCAR’s Coke 600 in North Carolina leaving him with a small window of time to switch between the two races.

Larson’s primary focus this weekend is on his day job rather than his part time driving duties for the Indy 500 meaning that he will prioritize collecting points and racing in the Coke 600 in North Carolina over all else, even if it means missing the Indianapolis 500.

Larson already has a busy schedule for Sunday given the Indy 500 usually starts at 12:45 p.m. ET and takes three hours to wrap up. Meanwhile, the Coke 600 is scheduled to begin at 18:00 PM ET and frankly, the trip from Indiana to North Carolina takes roughly two and a half hours. Therefore Larson has a brief 45-minute window to make thorough preparations for the NASCAR race.

However, the weather might ruin Kyle Larson’s plans of taking part in both the Indy 500 and the NASCAR 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway owing to lightning and downpours predicted for Sunday as the track is anticipated to receive roughly two inches of rain.

According to the most recent forecast, there is a 50% possibility that bad weather will fall on IMS nearly two hours before the green flag at 12:45 p.m. ET and persist until the early evening, postponing the 200-lap race to Monday.

Larson’s #17 will be parked for the day if he proceeds to start the Indy 500 and then withdraws in a hurry to Charlotte due to rain delay.

The Arrow McLaren team and the IndyCar Series are already discussing options to keep the Arrow McLaren Chevy in the race if bad weather forces Larson to head to North Carolina, as they get ready for the possibility that Larson will be forced to leave for his full-time job with NASCAR on Sunday.

Arrow McLaren sporting director Tony Kanaan the has been the team’s backup driver recenty. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner was one of the options to take over the No. 6 Chevy following the injury of former driver David Malukas, but Callum Ilott took the seat.

While neither the team nor the series was prepared to make an official statement, according to RACER they are considering the possibility of giving Kanaan, who bid a fond farewell to the Indy 500 with Arrow McLaren last year and finished 16th, a refresher run later this week.

“We’ve talked about it many times, and we know we need to be at Charlotte for the points,” Rick Hendrick said. “We’re just going to let it play out, and then Kyle and myself and Jeff Gordon, we’ll make that decision Sunday.

“The pressure of being in the race and starting with a great starting spot and knowing we’ve got the 600 to run, it’s going to be pressure all day. How does the race go? Is it going to rain? What time do we have to leave to get back to Charlotte?

“This is going to be a tremendous amount of pressure, but we signed up for it. We’re in the race. We qualified. Kyle is a heck of a talent. I just hope that the weather cooperates and we get to finish the race.”

According to RACER, there is a possibility that Nolan Siegel, the driver for relegated Dale Coyne Racing, who is authorized to compete without requiring a special session in the car, may be called in to pilot the No. 17 Chevy in the event Kanaan is not drafted as Larson’s backup.

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