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Kyle Larson ‘excited and nervous’ over Indy 500 debut next year

NASCAR Cup superstar Kyle Larson says he’s “excited and little bit nervous” over his Indy 500 debut next year, while visiting practice at Indianapolis today.

Gavin Ward, Competition Director, Arrow McLaren, Kyle Larson and Jeff Gordon, Vice Chairman of Hendrick Motorsports

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Larson will race Arrow McLaren’s fourth Chevrolet-powered car, with support from his NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, alongside the squad’s regular roster of drivers in the 2024 Indy 500.

The 2021 Cup champion says it’s been his “dream” to contest the event and will also run NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte later that day.

“It probably still won’t seem real until I get behind the wheel of a car,” Larson told NBC Peacock from the Arrow McLaren pits. “Just happy to be here, it’s the only day I can get here this year, so I’m just trying to soak in as much knowledge as I can and continually better prepare myself for next season.

“I want to do a really good job and I feel like the opportunity is there with a great team and all its resources. The opportunity is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, I just felt that the timing was right to live out a dream of mine, my dad’s and Jeff Gordon’s and even Rick Hendrick’s.

“I just wanna do a good job, I wanna obviously win the race too. I know how hard it is, so I’m going to keep my expectations realistic, because these are the greatest IndyCar drivers in the world, and I’ve never raced one!

“If I prepare right, study and focus, then I can do a good job. So I’m just excited and little bit nervous, I guess.”

Larson revealed that his test program hasn’t yet been set, but that he wants to get his first IndyCar running before the end of the year.

“I don’t know when that will be exactly, I haven’t heard of a date anyway,” he said. “So, I don’t know about simulator or anything because I know they’ve been so busy getting prepared for this year’s Indy 500.

“Once we get through these next couple of weeks, we’ll get more focus on my schedule and plans. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes right now, I know how big this week is.”

Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Tony Kanaan, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Larson attended the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today with Hendrick Motorsports’ vice-chairman Jeff Gordon, who will oversee his charge’s Indy project.

“Kyle has always made it clear that he wanted to get behind the wheel of an IndyCar to do the Indy 500, and we’re here to learn all we can to plan logistically and for whatever he needs from a competition standpoint,” said Gordon.

“I gotta say, having Tony Kanaan in the fourth [Arrow McLaren] car this year is a huge, huge help for what we’re going to have next year. He’s super competitive and such a great guy, he’s so open to helping out Kyle for this effort and we’re fortunate to be collaborating with Arrow McLaren and Chevrolet and I can’t wait for what’s to come.

“It takes a lot to do this race, and it’ll be even harder not being in the car all year long, but I like our chances with who we’re partnering up with.”

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