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Kyle Larson Gets 18th in 1st, but Maybe Not Final, Indy 500

Kyle Larson And Graham Rahal Miller Lite Carb Day By Paul Hurley Ref Image Without Watermark M106151

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Kyle Larson wasn’t able to complete “The Double,” but he did run all the laps in his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday (May 26) and it may not be the end of his NTT IndyCar Series career.

“I would definitely love to be back next year,” Larson told NBC Sports.

Larson finished 18th in the joint Indy effort between Arrow McLaren and Hendrick Motorsports, but the results don’t show how fast and consistent he was throughout the race.

“I’m proud to finish, but I’m pretty upset at myself,” Larson said. “If I just could’ve executed a better race, you never know what could have happened.”

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion was slated to run in the Indy 500 as well as NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday for a grand total of 1,100 miles. But rain and lightning ruined the plan, as the Indy 500 was delayed four hours.

Despite leading the points in Cup, Larson elected to stay at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and miss the start of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 600-miler.

Larson drove a smart race through the early portions of the race — surviving while a lot of his competition crashed out. He seemed fast enough to finish in the top 10.

But then Larson’s IndyCar inexperience caught up to him. He messed up on a restart that cost him several positions. Then, he followed it up by speeding on pit road during a green-flag pit cycle.

“I feel like I learned a lot throughout the race,” Larson said. “I made a lot of mistakes. Earlier on the restart, not sure what I did wrong there, but somehow I got myself into third.

“I feel like I did a good job on the restarts and was able to learn a lot. Definitely feel good about knowing what I need different for the balance coming back to help run some stuff.

“And then obviously, I smoked a left front or something into the green flag stop and killed our opportunity.”

Larson was able to stay on the lead lap and had a caution catch him back up to the back. But the California native was unable to climb back up the field.

Larson signed a two-year deal with Arrow McLaren. So he could return to drive in the Indy 500 next year, when he can complete what he said out to do and potentially run all 1,100 miles of The Double.

As soon as Larson got out of his No. 17 entry and did his TV and radio interviews, an SUV picked him up on pit road and whisked him off as he turned his attention toward the Coke 600.

“We’ll go hop on…

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