Kyle Larson said Saturday he has permission from Hendrick Motorsports to race the Indianapolis 500 if a deal can be reached for him to race the event, according to a report by Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press. Larson reportedly spoke to car owner Rick Hendrick as well as team vice president Jeff Gordon about his desire to race the Indy 500, with Hendrick’s only request being that Larson not race at Indy last year. .
Larson has reportedly emerged as a contender for a 2023 Indy 500 race, with his name being discussed in IndyCar circles over a potential seat in the race next May. However, Larson said he was unaware of any negotiations regarding his participation in the race.
“Nothing has changed. I would love to do that,” Larson told the AP. “It’s just a matter of timing and I want to be in the best gear possible. But I told Jeff and Rick I’d like to do it and it’s up to them to come up with something.”
Larson is looking to become the fifth driver to race “The Double” on Memorial Day weekend by competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. This group currently includes John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, but could receive an influx of companies as early as 2023.
In addition to Larson, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch has also expressed interest in the Indy 500 race, and in September he said he had permission to seek a ride for the 2023 race – comments who came in conjunction with reports that McLaren is interested putting him in a car. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who raced full-time in IndyCar in 2022, also expressed interest in doing “The Double”.
Larson would be a popular addition to the Indianapolis 500 field not just because of his racing pedigree, but also because of his popularity with grassroots fans for his dirt racing exploits — especially in the Midwest and Indiana, where Larson has had wins at events such as Indiana Midget Week and the Hoosier Hundred.