Kyle Larson begins 2024 prep for Indy 500 with test at Phoenix

Kyle Larson begins 2024 prep for Indy 500 with test at Phoenix

(Note: This story has been updated to reflect the the test moving up from its scheduled date of Tuesday to Monday afternoon, along with confirmation of the the race engineer.)

After finishing fifth in NASCAR’s preseason exhibition at the Los Angeles Coliseum this past Saturday night, Larson is making the trek to the one-mile, low-banked tri-oval as part of preparations for his first attempt at the Indianapolis 500 in May. 

He will drive Arrow McLaren’s No. 17 Chevrolet-powered entry in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports.

The outing is regarded as a rookie evaluation for the team and not an IndyCar Series test. A representative with Arrow McLaren confirmed to that every team member working with Larson at the upcoming is the exact group assigned for his Indy 500 program. The lone participant that will not be in attendance is veteran race engineer Mike Pawlowski, who was recently signed for the one-off effort and holds previous stints at AJ Foyt Racing, Andretti Global and Chip Ganassi Racing, among others.

Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner that now serves as the Sporting Director for Arrow McLaren, will be on hand to help Larson with coaching and feedback.

With the threat of rain potentially impacting the test on Tuesday, the on-track activity was pushed up to Monday afternoon. The only other on-track running planned for Larson at this time is the Indy 500 Open Test in April 10-11.

The 31-year-old California native last drove an Indy car in October as part of the Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he completed all three phases in 72 laps with a fastest at 217.898 mph.

“I’ve got a couple of tests coming up here if the rainstorm doesn’t hit too hard,” Larson said, ahead of the test.

“I’m supposed to test Tuesday in Phoenix, and I think there is an open test in April. I would say once April rolls around, I’d say that’s when it’ll get hot and heavy on prep work. I’m so used to being busy, so I don’t think it’s really going to feel way different for me.

“Just more studying and stuff behind the screen of a computer. It should be okay, I think. Our Cup team, hopefully, will be in a good spot where we’re fast and all of that.

“You’re not stressing about that as much as you need to, but I want to do a good job, so it’s definitely going to take a lot of focus on the IndyCar side to do a good job.

“I’m confident that I’m going to get all of…

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