Kyle Larson has lost a teammate for both 2024 and 2025

David Malukas had signed what was said to be a multi-year deal with the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team. He was released after zero starts.
Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren, Hendrick Motorsports, IndyCar, Indy 500
Kyle Larson, Arrow McLaren, Hendrick Motorsports, IndyCar, Indy 500 / Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar / USA TODAY

David Malukas missed his fourth race to start the 2024 IndyCar season this past Sunday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park, allowing Arrow McLaren to trigger a clause to release him from his contract.

They wasted zero time in doing so, informing the 22-year-old who was originally slated to drive the No. 6 Chevrolet this season of his release on Sunday night.

Though the March race at the Thermal Club was an exhibition race, it apparently still counted against that four-race tally. Malukas was injured in a preseason mountain biking accident and was initially expected to return for the second points race on the streets of Long Beach, California, but his recovery has lasted longer than expected.

And so Arrow McLaren ended up cutting ties with their major offseason addition even before he competed in a single race for the team after signing a multi-year contract.

This timing of his release has led to questions regarding how committed the team truly were to supporting his recovery -- and how much they really wanted him to be their driver after their drop to 0-for-2 in the Alex Palou sweepstakes is what ultimately led them to pursue his signature.

Kyle Larson loses Indy 500 teammate for 2024 and 2025

Alas, the Chicago, Illinois native is no longer a part of the team, and Kyle Larson will not get to compete alongside him as a teammate in the Indy 500 later this month.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion is set to attempt the Memorial Day Double, which involves competing in the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

Just four drivers have ever attempted the feat, with Kurt Busch being the most recent to do so in 2014, and only Tony Stewart (2001) has ever completed all 1,100 miles.

Larson's attempt is officially dubbed the "Hendrick 1,100", as he competes full-time for Hendrick Motorsports in the Cup Series, and Rick Hendrick's team is supporting his Indy 500 effort with Arrow McLaren. His IndyCar entry is officially the No. 17 McLaren-Hendrick Chevrolet.

Larson signed a two-year deal with Arrow McLaren to run the Indy 500, so he is set to be back next year as well.

Now one of his three teammates has effectively been fired before even getting behind the wheel, and the No. 6 Chevrolet is suddenly without a confirmed driver for the 108th -- and the 109th -- running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

Callum Ilott and Theo Pourchaire have each driven the No. 6 Chevrolet in two races this year, with Ilott also standing in for Malukas during April's open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both drivers have posted top finishes of 11th place.

Ilott is the favorite to be named its new driver for the Indy 500 due to his past oval experience, which included a stint of laps led a year ago, though much of the IndyCar fanbase is clamoring for yet another "last lap tour" for 2013 winner and current Arrow McLaren special advisor Tony Kanaan.

The team's full-time drivers include Pato O'Ward, the co-favorite (along with Palou) to win this year's Indy 500, and Alexander Rossi. O'Ward finished runner-up in 2022 and led the most laps last year. Rossi is the 2016 champion and added a runner-up finish in 2019.

O'Ward and Rossi have competed alongside both Ilott and Pourchaire this year. Larson, who enters the month of May without any IndyCar starts to his name, has not yet competed against either.

Who his newest teammate becomes remains the subject of major speculation as the start of practice rapidly approaches.

After turning the second fastest lap in the open test, Larson is listed as the third favorite to win the Indy 500 behind O'Ward and Palou at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is listed just ahead of reigning race winner Josef Newgarden, who led the April test.

Full odds can be found here.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Practice for the 108th running of the Indy 500 is officially scheduled to get underway on Tuesday, May 14. Qualifying is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19. The race itself is set to be shown live on NBC from Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing"!