Kyle Larson qualifies 10th for Coca-Cola 600 ahead of potentially historic weekend

CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson qualified 10th for the Coca-Cola 600 following yet another busy day of travel between Indiana and North Carolina.

Larson is attempting to join Tony Stewart on Sunday as the only drivers to complete all 1,100 miles on the same day as part of running the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 double.

The biggest question might not be whether the highly talented Larson is up for the task, but if the weather will afford him the opportunity.

Rain is in the forecast for Indianapolis, which has the potential to delay his arrival in Charlotte.

He will start fifth at Indy in Arrow McLaren’s No. 17 car in a race that begins around 12:45 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Immediately after, Larson will be flown to Charlotte for a race that is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. He will start 10th in the night race.

“Sure, yeah, it’s stressful because weather is always unpredictable,” Larson said earlier in the week. “But you just don’t really know until it’s happening. So it’s hard to plan for weather. You can have all these plans and backup plans and backup plans for the backup plan. But you just can’t really do anything or react until it’s kind of the moment. That’s what’s a little bit stressful.”

Last week, NASCAR made accommodations for Larson by pushing back the start of the All-Star Race 16 minutes to ensure he made it to North Wilkesboro Speedway in time for $1 million exhibition race after spending the day qualifying at the Indianapolis 500.

He arrived at the track more than an hour before the start of the race by helicopter as fans cheered.

It’s unclear how long NASCAR would postpone the start of one of its crown jewel events — one that former President Donald Trump plans to attend — if the Indianapolis 500 runs long.

Joey Logano said he’s OK with NASCAR delaying the green flag start for the Coca-Cola 600 again on Sunday — as long as it is within reason.

“Pushing it back a little bit, I’m sure, doesn’t really affect much,” said Logano, who won last week’s All-Star Race. “Pushing it back a lot does affect it a lot. Are we willing to give up ratings to get somebody here that chose not to be here to go race the Indy 500?”

Logano said it is really cool that Larson is attempting the double, but added, “I don’t think we should wait very, very long by any means because I don’t want it to hurt the rest of our sport for somebody that showed up late for the race. I don’t think I can call in and say, ‘Hey, I’m stuck in traffic because I left my house late. Can you wait for me?’ It’s not gonna happen.”

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