The speculation continues to rumble throughout racing social media. Will Nascar champions Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson both race in next year's 107th running of the Indianapolis 500? There is something nostalgic about the double. John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, and Kurt Busch have attempted. It’s a major task both mentally and physically to do.
But crossover doesn’t just have to be for the double. We saw over the weekend on the Charlotte Roval that veterans of IndyCar can hold their own in a NASCAR race. There’s plenty of potential for this to continue down the road.
In Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, former IndyCar driver James Davison raced his way to a career best 4th place finish in the series. Racing for Joe Gibbs, Davison’s 4th place run ties his best in six Xfinity Series starts. Davison has run in 35 NASCAR Cup Races in his career after making 8 starts in IndyCar.
In the same race on Saturday, Marco Andretti made his first career start in the Xfinity Series. For Marco, this could be the start of a part time schedule for the 2023 season. After winning this summer's SRX Championship, Andretti announced his first start with Big Machine Racing. I look forward to Andretti running a stock car on an oval, give this guy 10-15 races under his belt and he could be in serious contention to win races.
Sage Karam qualified for Saturday's race in the 9th position and found himself inside the Top 5 most of the afternoon. A late mistake cost him a chance at his second Top 5 in the last two races.
Conor Daly, in his first career Cup series start, held his own with minimum practice time prior to the race. Completing all the laps and staying lean was the goal for the weekend for Daly, who drove for Floyd Mayweather's team, brought the Chevy home clean, outside of a few slaps of duck tape.
It’s going on and will continue to go on in the future. Crossover of NASCAR drivers to IndyCar (Jimmie Johnson) and IndyCar to NASCAR. Conor Daly held his own and brought his #50 Chevy home in one piece after a wild Cup Series race on Sunday.
The rivalry that used to exist between IndyCar and NASCAR is slowly drifting away. When Roger Penske took over the IndyCar Series and with the help of network NBC, the embrace on both sides was a welcomed sight to racing fans all over the globe. So what would it take to get more?
It seems inevitable that a driver will attempt the double in 2023. Announced over the weekend, Kyle Larson has been given the okay from Hendrick Motorsports to run in next year's Indy 500. Kyle Busch has been heavy in the rumor mills to run the Indy 500 since his announcement a month ago of joining Richard Childress Racing.
Busch is likely to find a ride. Although many have said McLaren is the best option, don’t count out Ed Carpenter Racing or Dreyer and Reinbold Racing to field the former Cup Series championship. As mentioned, Busch and Ed Carpenter Racing have mutual acquaintances. Busch would pilot a fast car at Indy and bring awareness to his Rowdy Energy Drink. Also, Todd Ault IV for BitNile would seemingly jump at the chance to make this happen.
With the return to full time racing for Santino Ferrucci at AJ Foyt Racing, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing has an empty seat in the #23 for the Indianapolis 500. Being a Chevy team, DRR would seemingly entertain the idea of running one of the NASCAR champions for the next year's Indy 500.
Why not Team Penske? It would certainly turn heads in the paddock if Mr. Penske fielded Kyle Busch in the Indy 500. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but having your series leader field a 4th car for one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time, might not be welcomed by team owners in IndyCar.
Outside of the Indy 500, I do believe it would be healthy on both sides if NASCAR and Indycar joined forces for a second doubleheader weekend. I would love to see other IndyCar drivers such as Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden and Santino Ferrucci get good opportunities to try out stock cars. On the flip side, how cool would it be for a few NASCAR drivers to try their hand in IndyCar. Austin Cindric is certainly a driver that would have interest. If NBC can put it together, how cool would it be for NASCAR and IndyCar to run together at Pocono and Watkins Glen in the summer. The Charlotte Roval would also be entertaining, but I have heard from multiple people that Charlotte Motor Speedway has no interest in ever running an IndyCar event again.
Now look, as an IndyCar fan, I don’t want to see Conor Daly get too comfortable in NASCAR. Daly is a great ambassador for all motorsports, but I speak for everyone when I say Conor Daly belongs in IndyCar for several more years.
Maybe Roger can call a meeting and get the ball rolling on this. Some fans will be hesitant as IndyCar seemed to be the little brother to the two NASCAR series back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this summer for the doubleheader. If everyone can get off their high horse and make this happen, it would be healthy for the sport of auto racing in America.
Oh, and don’t forget, rumblings are getting louder of Kimi Raikkonen sharing an IndyCar with Jimmie Johnson in 2023, Raikkonen made a start in the NASCAR Cup Series earlier this year.
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