Kyle Larson Racing in the Indianapolis 500 Is a Real Possibility, According to Jeff Gordon
In 2021, Kyle Larson proved he was one of the best racers in the world, winning in any car he strapped in behind the wheel. While the 29-year-old driver dominated the NASCAR Cup Series, winning 10 times and the championship, he also won top races in midget cars, sprint cars, on asphalt, and on the dirt.
Larson didn’t race with the IndyCar Series in 2021. He’s never raced there before. However, according to Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chairman Jeff Gordon, that could change in the future and it could take place at the crown jewel of the series, the Indianapolis 500.
Kyle Larson achieved success in other series
Kyle Larson made a historic run in the 2021 Cup Series season, winning 10 points races, the All-Star Race, and the Cup title. It was one of the most dominant performances in NASCAR history.
Interestingly, when Larson wasn’t dominating in the Cup Series on weekends, he was dominating in other racing disciplines during the week at various tracks around the nation.
Larson won the Chili Bowl Nationals, the nation’s most prestigious midget car race. He also earned a win at the Knoxville Nationals, the premier sprint car race in the country, and the Kings Royal, another top event. In the World of Outlaws, he won the prestigious Prairie Dirt Classic late model race.
Kyle Larson could race in Indianapolis 500
When Kyle Larson signed with Hendrick Motorsports in 2020, he convinced Rick Hendrick to allow him to compete in non-NASCAR races. Previously, the team owner prevented that from happening with other drivers due to safety concerns.
However, Larson’s success in and out of NASCAR proved his theory that sitting in a car with a handful of wheel in any series helps the driver stay sharp.
With Hendrick converted, Larson has broached the subject of racing in other forms like Formula 1. This week, Jeff Gordon announced that the team is open to Larson competing with the IndyCar Series and specifically the Indianapolis 500.
“@JeffGordonWeb says that @TeamHendrick is open to letting @KyleLarsonRacin race in the Indy 500, and Rick Hendrick added that he and Gordon are also eyeing other series to potentially enter Hendrick Motorsports into in the future on top of @NASCAR,” Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal tweeted.
2022 could be another big year in NASCAR
Kyle Larson’s success in 2021 was clearly an eye-opener for Rick Hendrick. The question is — can the driver replicate that same level of performance in 2022 with the Next Gen car?
Ironically, if there’s any driver who will make a smooth transition to the new car it would be Larson, and it’s because of his unique ability to get inside any type of car, adapt quickly, and find success in short order.
After the last round of Next Gen testing at Phoenix, the reigning Cup champ talked about his session and sent a concerning message to his competition for 2022.
“As far as me driving the car, I was surprised it didn’t seem that much different here than the previous car,” Larson admitted. “The steering was maybe a little bit quicker, just the little things all seemed to happen a little quicker. The moments when you got loose – stuff like that. Other than that, it felt fairly normal, which I was happy about.
“I was happy with the balance of my race car when we unloaded today. I’m confident that we can go out there and be competitive right off the bat.”
Larson has effectively been competitive right off the bat in most cars he’s raced. If he does race in the Indianapolis 500 at some point in the future, don’t expect the results to be any different.