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NASCAR Cup Charlotte

Kyle Larson commits to running Indy 500, will miss start of Coke 600

Kyle Larson and Hendrick Motorsports have made the difficult decision to skip the start of the Coca-Cola 600, committing to running the full Indianapolis 500.

It was the scenario Larson hoped to avoid in his bid to become the fifth driver to complete 'The Double' -- 1,100 miles of racing on one day between IndyCar's crown jewel event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR's longest race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com H1100 Chevrolet Camaro

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com H1100 Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Lesley Ann Miller / Motorsport Images

Unfortunately, rain delayed the start of the Indy 500, forcing Larson to choose between the two races. He is currently locked into the NASCAR Cup playoffs after winning twice so far this year, but NASCAR demands that drivers attempt every race in order to remain eligible for the playoffs. He will need to be granted a waiver by NASCAR to remain in contention for the championship, which he will likely get.

Larson is also leading the regular season championship, and winning the regular season title comes with 15 playoff bonus points. He has a 30-point advantage over Martin Truex Jr., but with an additional stage, the Coke 600 rewards more points than any other race on the schedule.

Justin Allgaier, who was already selected as a standby driver, will pilot the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at Charlotte. Larson qualified tenth, but Allgaier will have to start the race from the rear of the 40-car field due to the driver change. Larson intends to head to Charlotte to race once he is done in Indianapolis but Allgaier, as the driver who started the race, would get credited with whatever finish comes out of it. 

Kyle Larson, McLaren-Hendrick Chevrolet

Kyle Larson, McLaren-Hendrick Chevrolet

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

Laron is driving the No. 17 Arrow McLaren-Hendrick Chevrolet at Indianapolis. HendrickCars.com is backing both his IndyCar and NASCAR effort this weekend, leaving Hendrick more control over this decision.

Larson qualified fifth for the Indy 500, easily beating all other rookies in the field. When he takes the green flag from the middle of the second row, he will become the sixth NASCAR Cup Series champion to compete in 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'

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