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Speeding Penalty Relegates Kyle Larson to 18th-Place Finish in First Indianapolis 500

Larson Indianapolis 500 Kyle Larson NASCAR Cup Series

Photo Credit: Paul Hurley, Penske Entertainment

An 18th-place finish isn’t exactly what Kyle Larson wanted from his Indianapolis 500 debut.

Making his first attempt at running The Double, Larson was forced to bail on the opening laps of the Coca-Cola 600, after thunderstorms pushed back the start time of the Indianapolis 500 by more than four hours.

When the proceedings finally got underway at Indianapolis just before 5:00 pm, Larson was able to keep his Arrow McLaren Chevrolet underneath him, despite several more experienced drivers failing to accomplish that same feat.

In the opening laps of the 108th Indianapolis 500, a rash of incidents forced the field to endure several restarts, which in the early portion of the event proved to be a struggle for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion.

There was one restart in particular, on the ninth of Sunday’s event, where Larson had a sketchy restart, missing his mark for the upshift and losing all momentum, dropkicking him from sixth to outside the top-15, making slight contact with another vehicle.

In terms of close calls, that early-race restart was the most heart-stopping, as Larson then began methodically moving his way through the pack, and repositioning himself in the top-10, a position he remained in for much of the event.

Though, just when things looked to be going well for Larson, running the highest he had all afternoon on pace, in sixth, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion was forced to make his first in-race green-flag pit stop, which resulted in a speeding penalty.

That took Larson out of contention for the victory, except for a split-second, where there was talk of the Arrow McLaren driver attempting to stretch it on gas, allowing the full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver to lead four laps, his first laps led in his NTT IndyCar Series debut.

But, coming down pit road for the final time with less than 20 laps remaining, Larson cycled to 18th place, the place where he spent the final laps of the Indianapolis 500, bringing home a clean racecar inside the top-20.

Josef Newgarden was the winner of the event, making a last-lap pass on Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, who finished second. Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, and Alex Palou rounded out the top five in the Indianapolis 500.

Scott McLaughlin, Kyle Kirkwood, Santino Ferrucci, Rinus VeeKay, and Conor Daly rounded out the top-10.

Now, Larson will fly to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he will take over from Justin Allgaier and bring the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro to the checkered flag.

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One Response

  1. Kyle Larson did a good job at Indy as a rookie. Next time he will do even better. Mario Andrette said that Kyle was a great driver and would becom one of the best driver in motor sports.

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