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UPDATE: Indy 500 DELAYED, Kyle Larson to MISS Start of Coca-Cola 600

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Kyle Larson’s Memorial Day “Double” hit a snag. A violent thunderstorm delayed the Indianapolis 500 until this afternoon, meaning a tough decision was made. Kyle Larson will miss the start of the Coca-Cola 600, casting doubt about his potential eligibility for the Cup Series Playoffs. Here’s everything you need to know.

  • NASCAR’s playoff rules complicate Kyle Larson’s choice. To be eligible for the Playoffs, a driver must compete in all 36 races unless granted a waiver.
  • However, the weather in Charlotte is also iffy at best. How would the weather at Charlotte impact Larson’s attempt?
  • Fans are bummed out by the reality that Larson’s double will be hampered by weather. However, there is a ray of hope for Larson’s future at the event.

Everything We Know

After a long rain delay, Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced that the 2024 Indianapolis 500 will start at approximately 4:44 PM ET, roughly 4 hours after its’ original scheduled start time. Soon afterwards, it was announced that Larson would start the Indianapolis 500.

Larson will miss the start of the Coca-Cola 600, and Justin Allgaier will start the race in the No. 5 car. Jordan Bianchi reports that Allgaier said that Larson would get in the car no matter when he showed up.

If Larson doesn’t start the Coca-Cola 600, he would be deemed ineligible for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs unless he is granted a waiver from NASCAR. Waivers had previously been granted to drivers who intended to run the full season but were unable to due to other factors like injuries or suspensions. However, Larson’s case is a new one. Jeff Gluck reports that Larson will “almost certainly” get a waiver.

Original Post

The Indianapolis 500 is officially on a weather delay. While no official start time has been announced, the current ballpark prediction is around 4:30 PM ET. Should the Coca-Cola 600 run on time, Larson would not be able to complete both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.

In the wake of the weather delay, Kyle Larson gave his thoughts to NBC reporter Marty Smith. Larson said, “I think our plan is to keep this the priority”. However, Larson later acknowledged that this is a collaborative decision.

It’s not just my decision. I think it’s everybody within Hendrick, Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Automotive Group, Hendrick Motorsports, all of that, you know, I think we’re all a part of the decision, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Andrews. There’s just been so much time and investiment in this, to make this Indy 500 happen. It’s been a buildup for over a year, so, we need to run it, and I want to. I feel like I have a good shot to have a good run and potentially win. I want to be here, but ,I just wish it would all work out and we could get both races in the full distance. I don’t care if it’s on the same day.

Kyle Larson

One of the people Larson mentioned, Jeff Gordon, also gave his thoughts on the move. According to this tweet from Danielle Trotta, Gordon says that the plan is to get Larson to Charlotte at some point, but, what that point is, is currently uncertain.

Larson’s issue is that if he chooses to skip the Coca-Cola 600, he would need a waiver to qualify for the Playoffs. He qualified for the Coca-Cola 600, and if he enters later in the race, maybe NASCAR will give him a waiver. Justin Allgaier is Larson’s backup driver at Charlotte.

However, the weather in Charlotte is very uncertain as well. Local meteorologist Brad Panovich pointed out that weather could hit Charlotte Motor Speedway this evening, likely at about 8-9 PM or about halfway through the race, putting the Coca-Cola 600 in jeopardy.

If the Coca-Cola 600 is delayed, Larson could complete both races. If both races are postponed, “The Double” could also be a Monday affair.

Jenna Fryer also reported last year that Larson’s deal with McLaren is two years. A 2025 “Double” run also seems like it can happen.

Stay tuned to The Daily Downforce as we keep you updated on everything regarding this story.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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