Top NASCAR driver Kyle Larson uses Indianapolis 500 testing to learn on the fly - GulfToday

Top NASCAR driver Kyle Larson uses Indianapolis 500 testing to learn on the fly


Kyle Larson poses for a photograph. File/AFP

He's now facing his trickiest quest yet - preparing for his Indianapolis 500 debut next month.

Larson returned to the historic 2.5-mile oval Wednesday for the first of two days of open testing and spent his time on the track trying to learn as much as possible. The 2021 NASCAR Cup champion is going to attempt to complete the Memorial Day weekend double - 1,100 miles of racing in Indianapolis and Charlotte, North Carolina, on the same day.

"I went out there, I was starting to get like tighter and tighter (steering) and then (Josef) Newgarden passed me and I got like super tight,” Larson said, referring to last year's first-time Indy winner. "So I don't know if that amount of tight was real but I would assume it's probably more real than not having another car out there.”

It didn't take Larson long to show what he's already deciphered. He posted the second-fastest lap in morning practice, 226.384 mph, albeit with a tow. Only Newgarden, at 228.811, was quicker.

But Larson may be better suited to successfully completing the Indy-NASCAR double than today's more specialized drivers.

His busy schedule and willingness to compete in so many formats rekindle images of the days race fans watched A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti competing on nearly any circuit.

Still, getting acclimated to the nuances of the faster, lighter IndyCars is a challenge.

Associated Press

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