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Christopher Bell wins weather-shortened Coca-Cola 600; rain spoils Kyle Larson’s attempt at Indy-Charlotte double

May 27th, 2024

After 251 of a scheduled 400 laps, Christopher Bell was declared the winner of the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night.

Kyle Larson’s attempt at an Indianapolis-Charlotte, double, meanwhile, was rained out.

Bell led for 90 laps and was the race leader when the race was red-flagged for weather at 9:31 p.m. local time at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. A lightning delay during the third of four stages turned into a roughly two-hour rain delay that went well into the evening. Workers attempted to dry the track in time to finish the race, but officials called it at 11:30 p.m. local time with 149 laps incomplete.

Brad Keselowski secured second place, while William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top 5. Last year’s winner, Ryan Blaney, sustained damage to the right front side of his car after blowing a tire and bowed out of the race on the 143rd lap. He finished in 39th place out of 40 drivers.

The shortened race, combined with a weather delay earlier Sunday in Indianapolis, spoiled Larson’s effort at competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. His backup driver Justin Allgaier — a regular on the Xfinity Series circuit — secured a 13th-place finish in Larson’s No. 5 car.

Kyle Larson never got to drive his No. 5 car -- seen here under cover during the Coca-Cola 600 Weather delay. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Larson never got to drive his No. 5 car — seen here under cover during the Coca-Cola 600 Weather delay. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Larson started Sunday with the goal of driving 1,100 total miles both races. Thanks to a four-hour weather delay in the Indianapolis 500 he wasn’t able to get to Charlotte in time to start the race.

Larson secured an 18th-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 and traveled to Charlotte hoping to take over his car from Allgaier for the final 151 laps.

After finishing in Indianapolis, Larson left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a helicopter to board a private jet that was bound for Charlotte.

After landing in Charlotte, he then took another helicopter to Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he rushed to the track to get ready to take over.

But he got there just in time for the weather delay and didn’t race a lap.

The decision to race in Indianapolis after the weather delay came with high stakes for Larson, who entered Sunday as the points leader in the NASCAR Cup standings. Larson is competing for his second NASCAR Cup title after winning his first in 2021.

Drivers are required to start in every race to be eligible for playoffs. It’s widely believed that Larson will receive a waiver from that rule, but it’s not a certainty. And he won’t receive any driver’s points for Sunday’s race.

Larson was attempting to become the fifth driver ever to compete in both the Coca-Cola 600 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same day. Kurt Busch was the last to compete in both races in 2014. Tony Stewart did it twice in 1999 and 2001. Robby Gordon did it five times (1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004).

John Andretti was the first to complete the feat in 1994. The double was made possible when lights were installed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1992, allowing the race to take place after sundown.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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