Chase Elliott has an ‘insider’ when it comes to Kyle Larson’s double

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - MAY 11: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 UniFirst Throwback Chevrolet, looks on during practice for the the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 11, 2024 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)


Kyle Larson faces the daunting task of running 1,100 miles in one day—weather permitting—but Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott has no worries about the plans in place to get Larson back to Charlotte from the Indianapolis 500, the first leg of the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double.

Elliott has been following Larson’s progress at Indy primarily through Larson’s NASCAR Cup Series crew chief, Cliff Daniels. Larson qualified fifth for the 500 last Sunday, then flew to North Wilkesboro and finished fourth in the NASCAR All-Star Race.

“Yeah, I’ve tried to keep up, for sure,” said Elliott, who is doing a double of his own this weekend, competing in both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races at Charlotte. “It’s been fun to watch, what I have been able to keep up with. It seems like they’ve been doing a great job at Indy.

“Obviously I work closely with Cliff—I hear a lot from him and whatnot, way more than the IndyCar side, so I’m hearing most of it from him. He’s an extremely well-prepared guy. I know he’s going to do his part to make sure his side of the picture goes really well. So I wouldn’t be concerned about that at all, if I was Kyle or anybody else.

There may be a tight window to get Larson back to Charlotte after the conclusion of the Indianapolis 500, if IndyCar can dodge the severe weather that has been plaguing the Midwest.

“It seems like just the logistics, the plans and the backup plans and all that stuff with the aviation group and everything else; they’re all just top-notch people. At Hendrick Motorsports, (owner) Rick (Hendrick) does a really good job of choosing the people that work in different departments. Everyone is excited about it, and I think it’s really cool for everyone involved.

“Everyone is playing a role in making it happen. It’s such a team effort to make sure he can get back and forth and do all the right things. I think any time that you have an opportunity like that to tie in more people that already work at the company, I think is super healthy because it gives people the opportunity to be a part of something that they might not normally be on a given weekend, which is fun.”