Not quite The Double: Rain disrupts Kyle Larson’s historic racing attempt

CONCORD, N.C. – What started as an attempt at a historic racing feat ultimately fell short as rain, lightning and high humidity kept Kyle Larson out of the Coca-Cola 600.

The original plan was for Larson to complete The Double, a feat in which one driver completes all 500 miles of the Indy 500 IndyCar Series race and then all 600 miles of the Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race.

NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600
NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600

Coca-Cola 600 results: Christopher Bell wins rain-shortened Cup race

Christopher Bell was in the lead at the time of the rain delay.

Larson would race in the Indy 500 for Arrow McLaren and then he would make a flying trip to Charlotte so that he could climb into his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the 6:22 p.m. green flag time of the Cup race.

Only four drivers had previously attempted The Double — John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch. Only Stewart completed the feat.

Larson's plan went awry early as lightning and rain pushed the start time of the Indy 500 from 12:45 p.m. to 4:44 p.m. This delay ensured that Larson would not be able to make it back to Charlotte for the start of the Cup race.

Enter Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series, who climbed into the No. 5 with no previous laps. His goal was simple.

“Kyle Larson is the reason that we're all here, like The Double is so important,” Allgaier said after the race.

“Me driving this car, my only job was to keep the fenders on it, keep it as far forward as we can to make sure that we have a great opportunity for Kyle to come back and get back in it.”

Allgaier did his part. He raced his way to 13th place while working with crew chief Cliff Daniels on adjustments for the final stage.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Syndication: The Indianapolis Star

Arrow McLaren’s Indy 500: ‘Damn, this really hurts’

Pato O’Ward’s near miss leaves team with pain and pride

Once the rain hit the track, Allgaier climbed out with confidence that Larson would be able to slice his way through the field and score a win. Though it would not go on Larson's record.

They just never had the opportunity to see the plan unfold properly.

“It’s just sad,” a dejected Larson told Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass. “Everything that could have went wrong today, went wrong.”

Larson never turned a lap in the No. 5 Chevrolet. He missed his first race of the Cup season and fell to third in the championship standings.

Larson is now six points behind Denny Hamlin and one point behind Martin Truex Jr. heading to next weekend’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Here’s a look at how Larson’s day unfolded at Indianapolis and Charlotte.

6:20 a.m. — IMS President Doug Boles holds a press briefing concerning possible weather delays of the Indy 500.

12:33 p.m. — Lightning delay at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2:30 p.m. — The rain stops at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Track drying begins.

3:30 p.m. — Drivers begin making their way to the starting grid.

3:34 p.m. — Hendrick Motorsports confirms Larson will miss the start of the Coca-Cola 600 while racing in the Indy 500.

4:44 p.m. — Green flag for the Indy 500.

6:49 p.m. — Penalty for Larson speeding on pit road.

7:32 p.m. — Larson leads his first laps on an alternate pit strategy.

7:45 p.m. — Larson crosses the finish line 18th.

7:50 p.m. — Larson gets into an SUV and heads to the helipad at Indy.

8:05 p.m. — Larson lands at Indianapolis International Airport.

8:09 p.m. — The Hendrick Motorsports plane departs for Charlotte.

9:18 p.m. — Larson lands at the Concord, N.C., airport.

9:31 p.m. — Larson arrives at the track via helicopter and rides in a golf cart to his pit stall.

9:33 p.m. — NASCAR brings cars to pit road for a lightning and rain delay

11:31 p.m. — NASCAR declares the race official.