Indianapolis 500: As Kyle Larson attempts to race 1,100 miles, here's how the other 4 drivers doing the double have fared

Kyle Larson will be the fifth driver to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day when he straps in for the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday night.

Larson is the first driver since Kurt Busch in 2014 to attempt the double and just the second since Robby Gordon’s last attempt in 2004. The Indy 500 is the first IndyCar race of Larson’s career and his time in an IndyCar has gone well so far.

The 2021 Cup Series champion and current NASCAR Cup Series points leader qualified fifth for the race in his Arrow McLaren entry and will start on the second row. That starting position gives Larson a decent chance of scoring the best Indy 500 finish of any driver who’s run both races in the same day. No driver has finished better than sixth at Indianapolis before racing at Charlotte.

Here’s how the other four drivers who have done the double before Larson have fared in their attempts. With the Indianapolis 500 starting at 12:45 p.m. ET and the Coca-Cola 600 starting at around 6 p.m., Larson should have roughly two hours to go from Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Charlotte Motor Speedway via a flight on a private jet bookended by helicopter rides.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEB 20, 1994:   John Andretti poses with his car, Daytona 500, NASCAR Winston Cup race, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL, February 1994.  (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)
John Andretti was the first driver to attempt both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)

Doing both races in the same day became possible in 1992 when Charlotte Motor Speedway installed lights at the track. The 600 had previously been run in the afternoon and the races were frequently not even on the same day. Drivers like Donnie Allison and Lee Roy Yarborough previously ran both races in the same season.

Andretti, an IndyCar veteran, was a Cup Series rookie in 1994 as he became the first driver to do both in the same day. He finished the 500 four laps down in 10th before rushing to Charlotte. Andretti ended up finishing 36th in the 600 after his car had an engine failure 220 laps into the 400-lap race.

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 5:  Robby Gordon, driver of the #27 Alpine/Archipelago/Motorola Andretti Green Racing Honda Dallara on track during practice for the IRL (Indy Racing League)IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 on May 5, 2003 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images).
Robby Gordon has attempted the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same year on five different occasions. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images).

Gordon became the second person to attempt the double after Davy Jones failed to qualify for the 600 in 1995. Gordon is the only driver to do the double more than twice and has a pair of top-10 finishes in the Indy 500 to show for his efforts.

Gordon’s first double attempt came with an asterisk as the 500 got rained out and pushed to Monday before eventually being forced to Tuesday. In 2000, rain delayed the 500 again and P.J. Jones started the 600 for Gordon as he finished sixth in the 500. Gordon got into his Cup Series car during a pit stop in the middle of the race.

2002 was the first year Gordon was able to start both races in the same day and scored top-10 finishes in each. He was eighth at Indy before finishing 16th in the 600. He finished one lap down at Charlotte and completed 599 of the 600 possible laps. That year ended up being Gordon’s best double effort. A gearbox issue meant he finished the 500 in 22nd in 2003 and he ran just 27 laps at Indy in 2004 before rain halted the race.

10 May 2001:  Tony Stewart races by during the Indianapolis 500 Practice, part of the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge  /Allsport
Tony Stewart shown here in practice for 2001 Indianapolis 500, attempted the double five times. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Allsport)

Stewart is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in both races in the same day and the only driver to complete all 600 laps.

In 1999, Stewart finished ninth at Indianapolis but was four laps down. After getting to Charlotte, he was fourth in the 600 and finished on the lead lap.

Two years later, the former IndyCar champion finished sixth in the 500 while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing and completed all 200 laps. He then bettered his 600 finish by a spot when he took the checkered flag in third and on the lead lap later that night.

May 25, 2014: IndyCar Driver Kurt Busch (26) in action during the running of the 98th Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, shown here during the running of the 98th Indianapolis 500, was the last driver to run the double in 2014. (Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Busch matched Stewart and Gordon at the Indy 500. After starting 12th, Busch dropped back a bit before picking his way through the field to finish sixth and tie Stewart and Gordon for the best Indy finish for a driver doing the double.

The 600 did not go as planned, however. After starting at the back, Busch drove his way into the top 20 before his engine had a problem on Lap 271 and he was forced to retire from the race after completing over 900 miles.