NASCAR fans left divided as Kyle Larson slips in points after prioritizing Indy 500 over Coca-Cola 600

Aneesh
NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 - Qualifying
Kyle Larson's priority receives a backlash from the NASCAR fanbase (Image: Getty)

The NASCAR fanbase has reacted to Kyle Larson's drop in the leaderboard after his absence from the Charlotte race proved costly. The Hendrick Motorsports driver eyed to complete the 1100-mile Memorial Day Double and was at the Indy 500 when inclement weather conditions played its cards against him.

Five drivers, including Kyle Larson, have tried completing the Indy-Charlotte Double, but only Tony Stewart has been able to wrap up 1100 miles of action in a single day. The weekend is infamous for harsh weather conditions that could put a full stop to anyone's pursuit of securing the exhausting affair and this time, it was the #5 Chevy driver.

Heavy downpours delayed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway run and the 200-lap dash kicked off at 3.45 PM CT. Larson finished his Indy run in 18th but couldn't make it to Charlotte in time. However, the weather favored the Californian for a brief moment. After the end of 249 laps, high-speed winds clocking 60 mph combined with rain prompted the officials to issue a red flag.

Amid the hiatus, Kyle Larson landed at Charlotte and geared up for the Coca-Cola 600, replacing Justin Allgaier in his #5 Chevy. However, because of the heavy concentration of moisture in the atmosphere, the track drying process would have stretched beyond 1 AM ET. Eventually, the 400-lap dash got cut short by 151 laps and Christopher Bell emerged as the winner.

On the contrary, the HMS driver couldn't even run a single lap on the 1.5-mile oval and as a result, has been dethroned as the Cup Series leader. Denny Hamlin topped the charts with a 6-point buffer over the HMS driver.

Witnessing Kyle Larson prioritizing the Indy 500 over NASCAR, the fanbase poured in a mixed bag of reactions:

One fan took a jibe at Larson for opting Indy 500 instead of NASCAR:

"Because he doesn’t actually care about nascar 😶," the fan wrote.
"Hope it was worth it!" another fan added while taking a sarcastic dig.
"Smdh. Someone needs to just say no sometimes," another fan concurred.

Some fans outlined that Larson walked away with less damage:

"Sucks for sure. But could’ve been worse I guess. Take it and run,"one fan commented.
"That’s actually not terrible, was expecting him to fall further," another fan opined.

This fan looked at Kyle Larson's 486 points and a good place in the standings despite suffering the drop:

"Manageable," the fan wrote.

"Everything that could've gone wrong today went wrong": Kyle Larson unhappy with the Memorial Day Double setback

Larson kicked off his Indy 500 run from fifth place, fielding the #17 Arrow McLaren car across the 2.5-mile oval. With just 70 laps left, Larson was given a pit-road speeding penalty and was sent one lap down. Furthermore, the 2021 Cup Series champion stayed out while a big chunk of the cars pitted.

Keeping out helped the 31-year-old take the lead momentarily but pitted afterward. With only 16 laps to go, Larson entered the pits for service and as a result, he finished in 18th. Nonetheless, he flew back to Charlotte in the nick of time and got ready for his Cup Series run.

However, the bad weather didn't let Kyle Larson's pursuit of a doubleheader come to fruition as the race got canceled after 249 laps and the HMS driver couldn't run even a single lap in Charlotte. Feeling disappointed from double setbacks faced within the 24-hour timeframe, Larson vented his feelings to Bob Pockrass:

"I'm very very thankful for the experience. Everything about the two weeks, all that was great until today, so just sad. Everything that could've gone wrong today went wrong," Larson said via X.

With 492 points, Denny Hamlin is placed at #1 in the Cup Series standings, followed by Martin Truex Jr. in second place. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson has dropped to P3.

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