5 drivers who could attempt the next Memorial Day Double

All eyes are on Kyle Larson as the NASCAR Cup Series champion prepares for the Memorial Day Double. Who could be next?
Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren, Hendrick Motorsports, Indy 500, IndyCar
Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren, Hendrick Motorsports, Indy 500, IndyCar / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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John Andretti was the first to attempt the Memorial Day Double in 1994, competing in both IndyCar's Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day.

Following Andretti's attempt, Robby Gordon did it five times, Tony Stewart did it twice, and Kurt Busch most recently did it in 2014. However, of all those drivers and all their efforts, only Stewart has been able to complete all 600 laps and all 1,100 miles of the two famed races, doing so back in 2001.

Skip ahead to 2024, and former NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson is looking to become the fifth driver to attempt the famed Double Duty event, the second driver to actually complete it, and the first driver to ever win one or both of those races on the same day. Following his fifth place qualifying effort at Indianapolis this past weekend, that monumental achievement is a possibility.

What can't be understated is the challenge of even attempting this feat, let alone completing it, or doing so with any sort of success.

Being in Indianapolis for over two full weeks, with media and sponsor commitments, days and days of practice, two days of qualifying, and a 500-mile race while running speeds well over 200 miles per hour is difficult enough. During all of that, he still needs to practice and qualify his NASCAR car, and once the Indy 500 is done, he then has to fly south to Charlotte for 600 more miles.

Only a true gladiator can even think about trying to do this, but that's a description Larson fits perfectly. The California native is arguably one of the most talented drivers on the planet. Whenever he's not racing in NASCAR, he's at another track racing sprint cars or midgets on asphalt or dirt surfaces -- and winning. This opportunity was made for drivers like Larson, and he's now taking it on.

Should Larson successfully complete the entire distance of both races, or better yet, win one or both, it will bring many more eyes to both series from around the world and provide extreme growth. Additionally, it may open the eyes of many drivers from NASCAR and IndyCar and even other series around the world to potentially give it a shot themselves.

Here are five drivers who may be next in line to attempt the Memorial Day Double.

No. 1 - Kyle Busch

For the last few years now, this has felt more like a matter of when, not if, it will ultimately happen. It has been heavily reported for a long time that Kyle Busch is interested in running the Indy 500 alongside the Coca-Cola 600, and some of IndyCar's top teams have been interested in him.

Busch has tried to get a deal in place before, but he was held back from making his debut in the Indy 500 due to the roadblocks put in place by his former team, Joe Gibbs Racing. The team did not want him to run the race to avoid delays or injuries.

However, since the start of the 2023 season, that roadblock no longer exists for the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. Now driving for Richard Childress Racing, Busch is contractually allowed to race at Indianapolis, should he be driving a Chevrolet.

In late 2022, it was reported that Arrow McLaren was interested in Busch's services for the Indy 500 for both 2023 and 2024, but a deal could not be reached, leading to Larson getting the ride instead.

While Busch has since stated that he is not actively searching for an Indy 500 ride, he also implied that he is still interested in running the race.

Given his immense talent behind the wheel, similar in ways to Larson, and better yet, the incredible persona and marketability he brings to the table, it's hard to see every IndyCar team ignoring the prospect of his services for the biggest race in the world at some point in the near future.