Alexander Rossi Says Kyle Larson Can Win the Indy 500

Jackson Wheeler
4 Min Read

  • Alexander Rossi praises Kyle Larson’s driving skills.
  • The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner called Larson, a 23-time race winner in the NASCAR Cup Series, “phenomenal.”
  • Rossi says predicted that his Arrow McLaren IndyCar teammate this May has the chops to win the race in his first shot at it.

Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, had nothing but compliments for versatile NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Larson, who’s preparing to join him and the Arrow McLaren team this May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Larson will add his name to the short list of those who have attempted to complete the Indianapolis 500, then fly the same day to Charlotte, N.C., to compete in and finish NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600.

(Tony Stewart, a multi-series star like Larson, is the only racer to score the accomplishment—in 2001, on his second chance since 1999. John Andretti was the first to try it, in 1994. Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch were the only others to take a stab at it, Gordon five times with no luck, and Busch the latest in 2014.)

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Alexander Rossi is looking forward to having Kyle Larson as a teammate at Indianapolis in May.

During this week’s IndyCar Content Days event at Indianapolis, Rossi delivered massive props for his soon-to-be one-race teammate. They spent some time together recently at Charlotte, when Rossi was participating in testing with the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 powerplant with hybrid technology from engine partners Chevrolet and Honda and Larson was going through his IndyCar Rookie Orientation Program.

Rossi, no stranger to diverse forms of motorsports with the Baja 1000 and sports-car racing to his credit, said Larson is “going to be a fantastic addition. He’s going to be up to speed right away. He’s going to be a challenger to win the thing.”

And Rossi should know. He won the 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 in his rookie season.

“I don’t need to watch him race to know that. Oh, he’s phenomenal,” Rossi said of Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series king who began his quest for a third Chili Bowl Nationals crown Thursday evening at Tulsa. “I’ve said for a long time he’s one of the best in the world. That doesn’t come easily in what he’s accomplished in his career. It’s pretty much second to none.”

Larson partnered for this weekend with NASCAR colleague Ricky Stenhouse Jr. inside Tulsa’s SageNet Center, on the Tulsa Expo Raceway quarter-mile dirt oval. They drive the Keith Kunz Motorsports-Curb-Agajanian entries.

Early results showed that in Thursday’s Victory Fuel Qualifying Night, Larson tangled with Christopher Townsend midway through the eight-lap fourth heat and flipped upside down. Both drivers were uninjured. Larson was unable to continue and finished last in the heat.

Other NASCAR drivers participating in this 38th version of the midget race include Chase Briscoe, Josh Bilicki, Jesse Love, and J.J. Yeley. Santino Ferrucci, of IndyCar’s A.J. Foyt Racing, also is racing this weekend at the Chili Bowl.

Headshot of Susan Wade

Susan Wade has lived in the Seattle area for 40 years, but motorsports is in the Indianapolis native’s DNA. She has emerged as one of the leading drag-racing writers with nearly 30 seasons at the racetrack, focusing on the human-interest angle.  She was the first non-NASCAR recipient of the prestigious Russ Catlin Award and has covered the sport for the Chicago Tribune, Newark Star-Ledger, and Seattle Times. She has contributed to Autoweek as a freelance writer since 2016.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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