Weather Could Impact Kyle Larson ‘Double’ and Put NASCAR In Delicate Situation

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

INDIANAPOLIS – Kyle Larson’s attempt at the IndyCar/NASCAR “Double” may be a washout as impending torrential storms are predicted ahead of the green flag for the Indy 500. This would delay the start and put in jeopardy his chances to make it to Charlotte, N.C. for the Coca-Cola 600.

Earlier in the week, Rick Hendrick told media members it would be a difficult decision to remove Larson from the blue and orange Arrow McLaren No. 17 Chevrolet in the event of rain. NASCAR has confirmed that a waiver, which would keep Larson eligible for the championship should he miss the Coca-Cola 600, can’t be asked for until it is needed.

Bad weather could impact kyle larson's attempt at the indy 500/coca-cola 600 double.
Predictive radar shows bad weather could impact Kyle Larson’s attempt at the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double.

“It would be very hard. It would be very tough,” Hendrick told media members during a Zoom press conference earlier in the week. “Would be very disappointing because of all the effort that everyone has put in, from Arrow McLaren to Zak and the crowd, our marketing people. We’ve got a tremendous amount of folks there at Indy, and he’s in such a good position, it would be extremely hard.”

Should rain delay the start of the Indy 500 and impact Larson’s return to North Carolina, NASCAR would be in a difficult situation since granting the waiver would upset some fans who would accuse the sanctioning body of kowtowing to Hendrick. However, not granting a waiver, if requested, would raise other issues as legions of Larson fans would be infuriated by the decision. It also could impact NASCAR’s popularity overall, because having one of its superstars racing in the Indy 500 could bring a lot of new fans and attention to stock car racing and its sponsors.

According to weather reports and a press conference held by IMS President Doug Boles, the bad weather should reach the track between noon and 12:30 p.m. He said the primary concern is for customers and making sure they are safe. The race is scheduled to go green at 12:45 p.m.

Larson is supposed to roll off the grid in fifth for the 108th Indianapolis 500.

UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports stated there is nothing to announce at this time, it will be a “game-time” decision.

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