McLaren and Hendrick: a dream team?


Hendrick Motorsports and McLaren will team up in 2024 to back Kyle Larson's attempt at The Double — racing the Indy 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day

Kyle Larson at LA Coliseum NASCAR race in 2023

Kyle Larson will drive the Indy 500 in a Hendrick-backed McLaren

Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

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Very few times in the history of motor sport can the words “dream team” be applied accurately.

But there’s a good argument that Rick Hendrick, one of the most successful owners in the history of NASCAR, and his partnership with Zak Brown of McLaren qualifies.

Together, the two will help lead a partnership that will feature NASCAR star Kyle Larson racing in the Indy 500 in 2024, before travelling to Charlotte for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the very same day, becoming only the fifth driver to attempt ‘The Double’.

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Hendrick, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports has been in the racing industry since the late 1970s when he started a drag boat racing team. He moved to NASCAR when he started the then named All-Star Racing in 1984. Since then, Hendrick and the now named Hendrick Motorsports have been the standard of NASCAR.

As an owner, Hendrick’s drivers have gone onto win over 14 NASCAR Cup Championships and is closing on 300 career victories as well, currently with 291, the most in NASCAR history. While they now have a headquarters building in Concord, North Carolina near Charlotte Speedway, Hendrick and his team are originally based out of South Hill, Virginia.


McLaren returned to race in the IndyCar Series in 2020


Brown, on the other hand, is the CEO of McLaren Racing, responsible for overseeing nearly everything in the organisation. Credited with expanding McLaren’s racing activities and broadening its aims, he has been an influential figure in racing for decades.

Together, the two hope to have a budding partnership that could be beneficial across a wide range of racing associations across the world. While the Indy 500 is just the first step, if all goes well, it won’t be the last for the partnership.

“Having the opportunity to support Kyle, partner with an elite team like Arrow McLaren and promote in one of the world’s great auto racing events is truly unique,” Rick Hendrick said in a press release. “It’s going to be very, very special to field a Chevrolet in the Indy 500 as a car owner. A collaboration like this was what we needed to make it happen, and fortunately the stars aligned. We’re 100% committed to doing it right and look forward to working with Zak and his organisation.”

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The partnership has opted for a driver who knows how to win. Larson was the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion under Rick Hendrick, driving the No.5 car. During his racing career, he’s won in a wide range of different rides including at the Daytona 24 Hours in 2015, a variety of Midget car championships and more. In his 10 year NASCAR career, Larson has totalled 19 wins and 146 top tens across 295 races for Hendrick Motorsports as well as Phoenix Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. He also has 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins in his career.

Following on from this year’s exhibition race at the LA Coliseum, Hendrick and Larson will begin their 2023 NASCAR Cup title fight on February 19 in the Daytona 500 Hendrick Motorsports is looking for its 14th Cup Series championship and 19th overall NASCAR Championship this season after winning three since 2016 including back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021 thanks to star drivers Chase Elliott and Larson.

McLaren on the other hand, hasn’t won an F1 constructors’ championship since 1998, nor a drivers’ title since 2008. Although it seems unlikely to change those statistics this season, the team has moved on from a disastrous three years when it was powered by Honda engines. Under Brown, it is now near the front of the midfield pack, with an ambition to move forward and challenge Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

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