Kyle Larson gets a new teammate for 2024 and 2025

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

David Malukas is set to join Arrow McLaren in the 2024 IndyCar season, giving Kyle Larson a new teammate from whom to learn leading up to his first Indy 500 attempt.

In 2024, 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson is set to become the fifth driver to attempt the Memorial Day Double and the first since Kurt Busch pulled it off in 2014.

He is trying to become just the second driver to complete all 500 miles of the Indy 500 and all 600 miles of the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, the first being Tony Stewart in 2001.

Larson had long been seen as an ideal candidate to attempt the historic 1,100-mile feat at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, particularly when he competed for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Cup Series from 2014 to 2020.

While a deal never materialized with Chip Ganassi’s IndyCar team during those seasons, Larson, who now competes for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series, remained interested and has since locked in a deal with Arrow McLaren to run the Indy 500 in both 2024 and 2025.

The deal has full support from Rick Hendrick’s team and has become known as the “Hendrick 1100”, given Hendrick’s official role as co-owner of Larson’s No. 17 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Larson is set to join 2022 Indy 500 runner-up Pato O’Ward and 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi in Arrow McLaren’s driver lineup for the 108th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

But with Alex Palou staying at Chip Ganassi Racing and Felix Rosenqvist off to Meyer Shank Racing, who will be in Arrow McLaren’s third full-time entry?

If you would have suggested at the start of 2023 that Larson and second-year Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports IndyCar driver David Malukas would be teammates in 2024 and 2025, it would have seemed like a pretty far-fetched suggestion.

But fairly early on in this year’s IndyCar silly season, Malukas made clear that he would not be back with his current team in 2024 and that he was aiming to join a larger and more competitive organization in 2024.

Not much thought was given to the possibility of Arrow McLaren being that team at the time, given the widely held belief that Palou was going to join the team as Rosenqvist’s replacement. But when Palou made clear that he wasn’t making the move, it opened up the door for the 21-year-old.

Now Arrow McLaren have officially signed David Malukas to a multi-year IndyCar contract.

Malukas is already viewed as one of the sport’s best oval drivers, despite having not yet had the chance to compete for a top team.

As a rookie in 2022, he finished the season as the highest non-Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, or Arrow McLaren driver in the oval standings, and he finished the 2023 season as the second highest. He recorded two podium finishes with Dale Coyne Racing, both at the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway oval.

“Little Dave” has evolved into one of the sport’s most popular drivers as well, given his social media presence, and you could make the case that this started when he was snubbed after last year’s Indy 500. Instead of giving it to the highest placed rookie and deserving Rookie of the Year, the media handed the award to Jimmie Johnson, sparking a controversy.

The addition of Malukas solidifies the team’s full-time lineup for 2024, and it gives Larson a new teammate for 2024 and 2025 as he competes for Arrow McLaren in the Indy 500. O’Ward is known to be under contract through 2025, while Rossi has not yet been publicly confirmed for beyond 2024.

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The 2024 Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 are scheduled for Sunday, May 26. The 2025 races are scheduled for Sunday, May 25.