INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kyle Larson’s parents took a swing by the Arrow McLaren merchandise truck at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and quickly alerted their superstar son to a potential problem.

“They were like, ‘Man, if I was your teammates I’d be pretty pissed because it’s basically all you,’” Larson said Wednesday as he waited out a second day of rain at the speedway.

Larson is the star of the upcoming Indianapolis 500 as he becomes the fifth driver in history to attempt both “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and NASCAR’s crown jewel Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch have attempted “The Double,” with Stewart in 2001 the only one to complete 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers).

“If Tony can do it, I can do it,” Larson said, smiling when talking about the physical demands of the two grueling races. Stewart did “The Double” twice but only completed all the laps in his second attempt; he was ninth, but four laps down, at Indy in 1999 but completed the entire Coke 600 and finished fourth.

He worked with a personal trainer to better prepare himself for his 2001 effort.

Larson has not talked to Stewart about his attempts, but he had one conversation with Busch, who was the last driver to attempt “The Double,” in 2014. Busch finished sixth at Indy but his engine failed at Charlotte with roughly 200 miles to go.

Larson doesn’t really want to pick the brains of those who have tried this stunt before him. NASCAR’s 2021 season champion races so many different styles of cars so many nights of the week that he prefers to figure out what he’s doing on his own.

“I really like to try and learn things, as much as I can, on my own,” Larson said. “I’ve never been that type of driver to get info from other drivers. I just try to figure it out, and then as I’m doing it, and I have questions, then I ask.

“But when I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know what to ask. So I haven’t talked to too many people.”

The problem for Larson is the rain that soaked the speedway both Tuesday and Wednesday. He got in only two laps on opening day before all of Tuesday was washed out. The Wednesday schedule was revised to add two hours of track time for a total of eight hours, but it was still raining long after lunch.

IndyCar said it hoped to have cars on the track from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., one hour later than scheduled. Larson needs the track time as he continues to get up to speed in an Indy car ahead of the May 26 race.

Although Arrow McLaren has given him seat time, he’s yet to get two consecutive days in the car and was limited to 47 laps over two hours during last month’s open test at Indy. His practice was abbreviated by rain that time, too.

Larson was growing anxious to get on the track, but at the same time he was weirdly at ease with the idea of running his first Indy 500 with very little track time. Asked if the Indy 500 was today could he run it, Larson laughed and noted only if he’d qualified for the 33-car field.

But then he added he wouldn’t back down from the challenge.

“I would,” Larson said. “But I don’t think that I would do very good. There’s still a lot of things I want to get done over the course of this week to prepare myself.”

Which brings Larson to the betting odds.

Alex Palou is the favorite at 4-1, according to BetMGM Sportsbook, and Larson was the second betting choice at 13-2. Just like the amount of merchandise McLaren is selling on his behalf could be considered a slight to his teammates, his standing among the bookmakers outright shocked Larson.

He couldn’t believe he was listed ahead of six-time series champion Scott Dixon, who has one Indy 500 win. Larson urged gamblers to avoid the temptation to spend money on him, even though many believe he’s got a shot to win the race.

“That’s crazy, that doesn’t make any sense to me,” Larson said. “I think people are wasting their money. But, maybe not? I guess I hope to add people wasting their money on me.”


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