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Kyle Larson NASCAR-Indy 500 Doubleheader: What Really Makes the Attempt Challenging

Gowtham Ramalingam

Kyle Larson Takes a Page Out of NASCAR’s Book for His Ever-Expanding High Limit Series

The 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson will be attempting next month what few drivers have dared to. He will aspire to successfully run in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. The effort that has been dubbed the Hendrick 1100 will be a formidable challenge even for a driver as experienced and skilled as Larson. Tyler Monn, his spotter in the Cup Series, explains why.

Monn is set to be one of the two spotters for Larson’s Indy 500 race in addition to his duties in the NASCAR staple Coca-Cola 600. He will shadow the driver for over 1100 miles from Indianapolis to Charlotte on the Memorial Day weekend and be his eyes in the sky. Detailing the most pressing difficulties he will encounter along with Larson, he spoke to Autoweek about the differences between the two disciplines of racing.

“The biggest difference is in the passing,” he said. “Typically in the Cup [Series], when a guy pulls out of line to pass it takes a while to complete the pass. In IndyCar, as soon as you see that guy get out of line, you know he’s going to pass immediately.” While Monn has worked alongside Larson in the top tier of NASCAR over the last four years, this will be his first time spotting in the IndyCar Series.

He continued about how the unfamiliarity of the IndyCar environment will force Larson and himself to use names instead of car numbers to refer to drivers whilst racing. He quipped, “If I tell Kyle in the Cup series that the 20-car is behind him, he knows that’s Christopher Bell or the nine-car is Chase Elliott. We’ll use names at Indy because he won’t necessarily know all the car numbers.”

The path that Larson and Monn will take to the Hendrick 1100 next month

Monn was a part of Larson’s IndyCar rookie test last year. Following the success of that event, the duo will now gear up for the main race. The next step in that is the open tests that are scheduled for this week. Monn also revealed to Autoweek that he has been studying previous Indy500s to familiarize himself with the traffic flow and other essentials.

“I’ve never been more excited to do something,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity. I’m sure I’ll be worn out after the 600, but it’s a chance to do something not many people have done.” The other spotter who will be working with Monn in the Indy 500 is Travis Gregg, an IndyCar veteran. After all the tests and trials, the challenge will ultimately land at Team Larson’s feet at 12:45 p.m. on May 26.

After completing the Indy 500, the team will have a window of 2 hours to exit the track, fly to Charlotte, and get Larson into his #5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro to run the Coca-Cola 600 at 6:00 p.m. Regardless of the outcome, there will be no shortage of adrenaline-rushing action on the highly awaited day.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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