INDIANAPOLIS – The latest step in Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2024 Indianapolis 500 was revealed on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Larson’s livery for the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, fielded by Arrow McLaren, was revealed. In addition, the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the 2024 Coca-Cola 600 in the NASCAR Cup Series was unveiled. The 31-year-old driver is attempting to complete "The Double" of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day weekend. The effort is being dubbed the #Hendrick1100 to symbolize the number of miles that the 2021 Cup Series champion will run.
SHOP: Get your gear for the #Hendrick1100 now
"Obviously, I'm extremely excited, but at the same time, I'm so busy racing and trying to take care of my family that I haven't -- like it hasn't really set in yet that it's truly a reality," Larson said. "When you have days like today and you unveil the car, all those little steps, it definitely makes it seem more real.
"I'm sure once things slow down in the offseason and I have a lot of time to sit around and think about the upcoming season is when it's really going to hit. I'm sure that's when all the nervousness will start to creep in, but as well as the excitement."
Larson has already started to prep for the Indianapolis 500. Earlier this year, he was fitted for a seat at Arrow McLaren’s shop. The Elk Grove, California, native also spent the day getting acclimated with the team during a practice day for the 2023 Indianapolis 500 and he was on site for the start of the race. He’s ran some laps in the simulator to begin to get a feel for what he can expect. On top of that, Larson is scheduled to participate in a rookie orientation in October. The planned 2024 Indianapolis 500 run will be his first-ever race in IndyCar.
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"Just getting eyes on stuff a year in advance will hopefully make things a little less overwhelming for next year," Larson said of his experience in May. "I thought that was really important to come to a practice day and also get to come to the race for a little while. Just to get reminded of how crazy this place becomes with all the people and the ceremonies and all that."
While Arrow McLaren is fielding the entry at Indianapolis, Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick is a co-owner on the car. Just as they do for the bulk of Larson’s Cup Series schedule and his dirt racing, HendrickCars.com is onboard as the primary partner. Hendrick, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and 14-time championship-winning owner in the Cup Series, is intrigued by the learning opportunities for his organization in teaming up with the renowned IndyCar team.
PHOTOS: See every angle of the #Hendrick1100 paint schemes
"We'll probably get more out of what they're doing than they're going to get out of what we're doing, but the big deal is the cooperation,” Hendrick said. “And when people work together, nothing is as good as communication with smart people. Everybody's open minded. We know what we don't know, and we're not trying to get in the middle of what they know.
"… We're taking this one step at a time, and it's just fun talking to racers and talking about what makes a difference in what they do and they'll see what we're doing. … We'll come away from this, all of us will be better off."
Gavin Ward, the racing director for Arrow McLaren, indicated that they are planning to have some on-track time with Larson. Ideally, he would like to get him some laps at Indianapolis, but other oval testing with the team is an option.
“Our goal is just to build up and get as much prep and seat time as we can. Just to hit the ground running and be as prepared as possible come May (2024),” Ward said.
Larson will be the fifth driver to run "The Double." John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch are the others. Busch is the most recent to do in 2014, while Stewart (in 2001) is the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles of "The Double." No driver to attempt it has won either leg.
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"No matter the result from this whole experience, I'm going to come out of it a better race car driver," Larson said. "I already have, just in the short amount of time I spent in the simulator. It's definitely having the support that I do from the teammates at Arrow McLaren as well as Chevrolet and drivers who have raced IndyCar stuff before as well as stock cars. I'll have a lot of people to lean on to soak up a lot of knowledge. So very, very thankful for that."