INDIANAPOLIS – It should be no surprise Kyle Larson wants to write his own chapter in the history of the Indianapolis 500.
“This place for a long time felt like home to me or a second home to me,” Larson said. “In my opinion, it’s the biggest race in the world and you want to be a part of the big ones.”
Larson visited Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday as he prepares to run the Indy 500 next year in a joint effort with Arrow McLaren and his NASCAR team, Hendrick Motorsports.
Champion of the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 and an avidly successful dirt racer, Larson has no plans to make next May a simple vacation from stock cars.
“I don’t want to just do this to do it,” said Larson. “I want to do it and take it serious and feel like I’m prepared enough to win.”
Helping to prepare Larson will be Indiana’s own, Jeff Gordon. The five-time Brickyard 400 champion never got his own 500 ride, but this will be just as special.
“I sure as heck right now don’t want to turn into turn one at 238 miles per hour or whatever the heck they’re running,” Gordon joked. “But Kyle does and Kyle’s capable of it.”
Kyle’s biggest inspiration for next year will be his dad, Mike.
“He probably won’t even be able to watch most of the race because he’ll have tears in his eyes probably the whole time,” Larson said. “That’s what’s the most special to me at this point knowing I’m running the 500, is making him proud.”
For now, Larson’s watching and learning as much as possible before hopping in the cockpit next year.