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April 9, 2024

Kyle Larson takes next step in Indy 500 quest with open test at IMS

Kyle Larson waits in the pit area during rookie orientation testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
James Black
Penske Entertainment

Kyle Larson will enter the next phase in his bid for his Indianapolis 500 debut this week when Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts a two-day open test.

Larson will be among the entrants for Wednesday and Thursday sessions in preparation for the 108th running of the 500-mile event on May 26. The Hendrick Motorsports driver will attempt to run two historic races on the same day, traveling from Indianapolis that afternoon to compete in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway that evening.

RELATED: Scenes from Larson’s Phoenix test

This week’s test will mark the third on-track session for Larson in an IndyCar. He successfully completed rookie orientation at the Speedway last October, then participated in a test with his Arrow McLaren team at Phoenix Raceway in February.

“I’ve been excited about it since January of last year when we announced it, but yeah, I don’t get too overly excited about anything,” Larson said during last weekend’s NASCAR events at Martinsville Speedway. “Just take it every day, day by day. Hopefully, the weather is good next week, and we can get in the car as scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday and just get to learning, I think, from there. I think next week is when I’ll really get to learn more about things, racing and getting to be around my team of people. The other times I’ve been in the car, I haven’t had — and I don’t even know, maybe I have been around a lot of the team members, but I’ll at least have my team there next week to kind of talk to and learn from. And then yeah, as far as being at the track with teammates and all of that sort of stuff, it will be good.”

The track is scheduled to open Wednesday at 9:05 a.m. ET for a nearly two-hour session for veteran drivers, followed by a two-hour rookie orientation practice and refresher at 11 a.m. ET. The session is then open to all drivers from 1-6:30 p.m. ET Wednesday and again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Thursday. Admission is free, with infield access limited because of construction near the IMS Museum.

Larson enters this Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) having won the pole position in the last two Cup Series events. He has one victory (Las Vegas in March) through eight races this season and ranks second to Martin Truex Jr. in the points standings.