Kyle Larson will attempt Indy 500-Coke 600 doubleheader with McLaren Racing in 2024

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Kyle Larson will attempt to become the fifth driver to race the Indy 500-Coca Cola 600 doubleheader, joining Arrow McLaren Racing for the 2024 Indianapolis 500.

Joining fellow NASCAR Cup Series champions Tony Stewart (who ran both races in 1999 and 2001) and Kurt Busch (the most recent driver to race Indy and Charlotte on the same day in 2014), Larson will drive a McLaren Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with backing from HendrickCars.com, which sponsors his No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro with Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Larson’s Chevy for the Indy 500 will be co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick, who will make his IndyCar team owner debut after 40 years of fielding cars in the NASCAR Cup Series. Hendrick is the winningest owner in NASCAR history with 14 championships and 291 victories (including a record 10 at the Brickyard).

“I’m super excited,” Larson said in a release. “Competing at the Indianapolis 500 is a dream of mine and something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – since I was a child before I ever began competing in sprint cars. To do it with Arrow McLaren and Mr. Hendrick especially is a dream come true.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and am really looking forward to it even though it’s still about a year-and-a-half away. I’m really looking forward to competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 and maybe even get a win or two that day.”

Said Hendrick: “Having the opportunity to support Kyle, partner with an elite team like Arrow McLaren and promote HendrickCars.com in one of the world’s great auto racing events is truly unique. All of us are competitors. Putting Kyle in top-level equipment and allowing ample time for him to prepare for such a difficult challenge was important. It’s going to be very, very special to field a Chevrolet in the Indy 500 as a car owner. A collaboration like this was what we needed to make it happen, and fortunately, the stars aligned. We’re 100% committed to doing it right and look forward to working with (McLaren).”

Larson, 30, won the 2021 Cup championship, his first with Hendrick in NASCAR’s premier series. He has 19 victories, including 10 during the ’21 season that is considered one of the best in U.S. racing history. He also is a very accomplished dirt racer, counting the prestigious Knoxville Nationals and Chili Bowl along with World of Outlaws features among more than 400 career victories across many disciplines.

Interested in the Indy 500 for years, Larson has spoken openly about wanting to be remembered as one of the greatest all-around racers of all time, and an Indy 500 victory would put him in the conversation with versatile legends such as Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt and Stewart, a three-time Cup champion who also has an IndyCar championship.

“Adding Kyle Larson with a HendrickCars.com partnership to the Indy 500 lineup in 2024 is exciting for our Arrow McLaren team as well as for race fans,” Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said in a release “He’s a complete driver, known for racing anything on wheels, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Kyle can do in an NTT IndyCar Series car. It’s been great working with Rick Hendrick and (Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman) Jeff Gordon to pull this together, so a big thank you to them for what’s to come in May 2024.”

The late John Andretti was the first driver to attempt the Indianapolis Motor Speedway-Charlotte Motor Speedway double in 1994. Robby Gordon has the most attempts of both the Indy 500 and Coke 600 in the same day (1997, 2002, ’03, ’04).

In 2001, Tony Stewart became the only driver to complete the full 1,100-mile distance in the same day (finishing sixth in the Indy 500 and third in the Coca-Cola 600). Gordon was a mile and a half short in 2002, completing all 200 laps at Indy and 399 of 400 laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Larson’s car number and livery for the 2024 Indy 500 attempt will be announced at a later date.

Brown confirmed last year that McLaren Racing had considered fielding a car for two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch in the Indy 500 this year.

Arrow McLaren will attempt to put four cars in the 2023 Indy 500, fielding Chevys for full-time drivers Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi and a one-off attempt by 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

Though the team’s lineup is uncertain for 2024, Larson figures to be joining a formidable trio of Indy 500 winners and champions next year.

“Kyle’s ability and desire to compete across so many disciplines of motor racing is as rare today as it is refreshing,” Gavin Ward, Arrow McLaren racing director, said in a release. “He’s one of the best dirt track racers on the planet. He’s a NASCAR Cup champion. He’s won a Rolex 24 at Daytona. He’s an incredibly talented driver and has shown his ability to win no matter what he’s racing. I can’t think of a more exciting addition to Arrow McLaren’s 2024 Indy 500 lineup. We’re all racers on this team, and we’re going to give it everything to make sure this endeavor is as successful as possible.”

Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi bring their storied rivalry to a new level at Rolex 24

Ganassi Penske Rolex 24
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – To measure the impact of Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi squaring off for the first time in overall sports car wins (starting at the Rolex 24), look at the auto racing titans’ lineups.

There are 12 combined drivers across four entries representing Chip Ganassi Racing (competing as Cadillac Racing) and Team Penske (as Porsche Penske Motorsport) in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona.

And with the possible exception of six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, none of those behind the wheel is as famous and accomplished as the U.S. motorsports icons who will be sitting atop the pit stands at Daytona International Speedway.

In the NTT IndyCar Series, Penske and Ganassi are synonymous with success, having combined for 23 Indy 500 victories and 30 championships. They also competed in the NASCAR Cup Series for two decades with several signature wins for each.

DETAILS FOR THE 61ST ROLEX 24How to watch, entry lists, schedules for the IMSA season opener

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GTPRolex 24 at Daytona kicks off new golden era for sports cars

Until now, the rivalry never extended to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where they competed in different classes from 2018-19 and have competed in the top category in differing times over the years.

But the 2023 season opener at Daytona will mark the beginning of a new era in which Ganassi and Penske will compete for sports car overall victories on two continents. A Ganassi Cadillac Racing V-LMDh and Porsche Penske Motorsports Penske 963 will run full time in both the premier prototype divisions of IMSA and the European-based World Endurance Championship – whose crown jewel is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Having two of the world’s biggest sports car races welcome the Ganassi-Penske battle seems only fitting in a season in which IMSA’s new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class is expected to introduce a stiffer level of competition.

“We obviously like beating each other,” Ganassi told NBC Sports. “I think if you beat Penske, you know you’ve beaten someone. You’ve accomplished something great. It’s going to be the same as always. Just another platform at another track, but the rivalry will be just as heated I’m sure.

“On one hand, he’s always the first guy to call us out for a penalty or something. On the other hand, he’s also the first guy to congratulate me on a win, so I think it’s a healthy rivalry, but we certainly pound each other’s heads into the ground on race day. Monday through Friday it switches to more of a good relationship.”

After starting his career in sports cars, Penske also is looking forward to having a new arena to race Ganassi.

“There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about the Rolex 24 and the upcoming sports car season overall,” Penske said in a statement to NBC Sports statement. “With the new hybrid prototype formula ready to make its debut, and some great competition expected on the track between teams, drivers and manufacturers, there is a lot of momentum building right now. Porsche Penske Motorsport is excited to compete in both the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship, this season and I can’t wait to see the No. 6 and No. 7 Porsche 963s in action at Daytona this weekend. We also look forward to bringing some new rivalries and storylines to the sport.

Roger Penske confers with Chip Ganassi before the 2013 Honda Indy Toronto (Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports Images).

“In the new IMSA GTP class, there should be a good competitive balance between Porsche, Cadillac, Acura and BMW. We have seen how the rivalry between Team Penske and Ganassi Racing has developed in the NTT IndyCar Series in recent years, and that could certainly extend to sports cars as our teams and drivers continue to develop the new formula and push the production on track in both IMSA and WEC. We will see how the competition plays out, starting this weekend, as we always enjoy racing against Chip and his teams.”

Though there have been some fiery moments over the years (Dario Franchitti vs. Will Power, anyone?), Ganassi vs. Penske mostly has been a story of respect between two organizations whose main strengths are people.

“It’s just the depth of the organizations going up against each other,” Ganassi said. “It’s not just he and I. It’s at every level of the organization.

“We’re smaller. I’d like to think we’re a little more nimble. This is all I do is race cars. I don’t have 200 car dealerships or a truck rental company or a transportation company. I just have racing is all I have.”

Heading into Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, here are the thoughts of Ganassi and Penske drivers in the Rolex 24 at Daytona:


Earl Bamber, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “When I grew up as a kid, I remember watching Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske battle each other for many years, obviously following Scott Dixon and his career in IndyCar (Bamber is a New Zealand native like Dixon). And when the opportunity came up to come and race for Chip, it’s a no-brainer. It’s one of those teams you want to drive for in the world. It’s one of the biggest and most successful teams in the world. And then we’ve got Porsche, where I used to drive, with Penske. It’s going to be a phenomenal rivalry over the next couple of years and that rivalry continues between two absolute legends of our sport. Two people who have been the most successful. I hope we can get Cadillac and Chip their first Le Mans win. That’s obviously the ultimate goal for us and beat his old rival, Roger.

“Those two powerhouses of the sport, they definitely raise the bar. You’ve seen it in IndyCar for years and years. One finds something and the next pushes it forward and forward. You’ll see the same in sports car racing. We all saw what Chip Ganassi Racing did back in the day with the GT program. So no doubt we can do the same again. It’s the ultimate highest level of motorsport when it comes to sports car racing, and there’ll be no stone unturned to make sure that we’re winning these races. It will be a really great fight, great for the fans and great for the sport, because both of them love winning.”

Dane Cameron, No. 6 Porsche Penske: “I think anytime you have Chip and Roger come to town to start fighting for wins, it raises the profile of the whole thing. Hopefully it brings a few more eyes to everything. Certainly brings a lot of expectation with it as well, and I also think it reflects really strongly on the championship to show how competitive it is. They respect the championship and challenge, but when they come to town, they come to win for sure.”

Scott Dixon, No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac: “The battle between Chip Ganassi Racing and Penske is always a fierce one. I obviously know it well from the IndyCar side. But I think it’s a lot more than that. It’s impressive to see a lot of the manufacturers that have come in for this battle. I imagine if it’s not from the first race but during the season that Penske and Ganassi will fight it out pretty hard.

“I think the rivalry between Chip Ganassi racing and Penske has always been strong and in a good way. There’s been some battles and the 2010s for me and other drivers when it gets fierce. Some disagreements here and there. But it’s always been a great pure battle, which is what I think these championships are made of and what brings the fans to the track. So I’d sum it up as a very healthy rivalry.”

Alex Lynn, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “Even as a little boy (growing up in England), you knew exactly who Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi were. You knew what their teams represented. For me to represent Chip and his team is a huge honor. I’m extremely motivated to try to add to his legacy and be part of the fabric of this team. I think having the battle between Penske and Ganassi is iconic. Also Porsche and Cadillac as brands, respectively, just adds to the occasion. Makes me smile even thinking about it knowing what we get to represent when the flag drops.”

Felipe Nasr, No. 7 Porsche Penske: “I think it’s fantastic especially because we’re merging the IMSA and WEC Series and giving the opportunity for teams like Penske and Ganassi to fight for overall victories. You look at the history of those teams, they’ve been on top. We always hear it from the IndyCar guys or the NASCAR side, you’re talking two big names in motorsports. You expect nothing but them fighting for wins. For sure Ganassi has strengths, and we have strengths as well. I’m pretty glad I have the opportunity to be representing Team Penske and continue to write history with them and Porsche is a great opportunity.”

Richard Westbrook, No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac: “The chance for the two most famous teams in America to go head to head in the Daytona 24 Hours and also the Le Mans 24 Hours. I expect that rivalry to keep going up more notches.”

Renger van der Zande, No. 01 Ganassi Cadillac: “Obviously, it’s such the big houses of racing in the U.S. Penske and Ganassi are taking it at each other. The rivalry is big. The best of the best. The most famous ones in the U.S.

“Ganassi is part of Cadillac. We’re the race team that runs the factory program for Cadillac. Penske is running it for Porsche, obviously a high brand as well. Those teams have their little rivalry, but they’re working for a bigger company, a bigger brand, which is Cadillac and Porsche. So those two premium brands taking on each other and then two of the best teams in America taking on each other. It’s very simple: Cadillac got the best team in the U.S. and Porsche got the best team in the U.S. So let’s see what happens. It’s going to be a cool fight.”