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IndyCar Indianapolis 500

Larson keen for Indy 500 return, "upset with myself" after speeding penalty

Kyle Larson said he was "pretty upset with myself" after earning a pitlane speeding penalty on his Indianapolis 500 debut, but teased a desire to make another attempt next year.

After waiting out a four-hour rain delay, the 2021 NASCAR Cup champion finished 18th on his first IndyCar appearance with Arrow McLaren before heading to Charlotte in an effort to contest the Coca-Cola 600 Cup race.

But his efforts to finish the 600-mile Cup race as part of the second leg of ‘The Double’ was foiled by the weather as that event was rained off before he could take over his usual Hendrick Chevrolet driven in his absence by Justin Allgaier.

Larson rolled off fifth in the 500 and rotated in and out of the top 10 in the opening half of the 200-lap race, until he was handed a drive-through penalty for carrying too much speed into the pits at his lap 131 stop.

 

This dropped him a lap down, although a lap 147 caution provided the chance for Larson to get back on the lead lap with a wave around and even lead four laps during a pit stop cycle.

After finishing as the second-highest rookie in the field, behind Ed Carpenter Racing’s Christian Rasmussen who finished 12th, Larson teased that a return to the 500 is something he'd be interested in pursuing.

“I would definitely love to be back next year,” Larson said. “I feel like I learned a lot throughout the race.

“Made a couple of mistakes early there with the restart. Not sure what I did wrong there. 

Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren/Rick Hendrick Chevrolet

Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren/Rick Hendrick Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

“I somehow got myself into third [gear] and then felt like I did a really good job on the restarts and was able to learn a lot.

“Definitely feel good about knowing what I would need different for the balance to help runs and stuff.

“Obviously, I smoked the left front on the green-flag stop and killed our opportunity. 

"Proud to finish, but pretty upset with myself. Just could have executed a better race.

“You don't know what could have happened.”

Larson arrived at Charlotte after 249 of 400 laps were completed, but a significant rain storm hit the track around the same time when Allgaier was running 13th. 

 

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