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Kyle Larson Will Not Compete in All-Star Heat Race; Will Start at Rear

Kyle Larson NASCAR All-Star Heat Race Saturday

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment: James Black

During a media bullpen at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday morning, Kyle Larson confirmed that he will not travel back to North Wilkesboro Speedway from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, and as a result, will forgo the NASCAR All-Star Race Heat Qualifying Race.

Larson, who won the NASCAR All-Star Race last season, will compete in Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race and will have to start from the rear in the $1-million payout exhibition event.

It was expected that the month of May would be a logistical nightmare for Larson, who will attempt the Memorial Day Double (Indianapolis 500, and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day) for the first time in his career. Larson had already announced that he would be a no-go in NASCAR All-Star Practice and Qualifying and that Kevin Harvick would pilot the No. 5 machine in his place on Friday at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Now, with Indianapolis 500 qualifying being the top priority on Saturday, Larson will miss more NASCAR All-Star Race sessions, but Larson missing the Heat Race on Saturday will allow his Hendrick Motorsports team more time to swap the seat, pedals, and everything inside the car more to his liking after Harvick spends Friday getting the car tuned up.

The Memorial Day Double hasn’t been completed since Kurt Busch did it back in 2014. Busch finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 that year and 40th in the Coca-Cola 600 after a blown engine on Lap 271 in the 400-lap contest.

RELATED: Which Drivers Have Completed The Double? (Indy 500 / Coca-Cola 600)?

If he can lock into the field for the 2024 Indianapolis 500, Larson will join an ultra-exclusive club of racers that have run both races in the same day.

Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, has enjoyed success through the opening 13 races of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. The native of Elk Grove, California has scored two wins, which brings his career total to 25, and he is the regular-season championship standings leader.

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