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Larson second-fastest at Indy

Kyle Larson rocketed to second-fastest on the leaderboard Wednesday, gaining experience and showing speed in a rain-abbreviated Indianapolis 500 open test.

Larson, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, drove the No. 17 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet to a best lap of 226.384 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His speed was second to the chart-topping 228.811 mph posted by defending Indy 500 champ Josef Newgarden, driving for Team Penske.

RELATED: Scenes from Larson at Indy 500 test

Larson is attempting to compete in both Memorial Day weekend classics on Sunday, May 26, driving in the Indianapolis 500 before transitioning to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). A total of 34 cars made laps in Wednesday’s session, and Larson’s track time was his first among other vehicles in an IndyCar.

“It felt good. Just good to get laps and get in some traffic, and to visually see what that looked like, to feel the runs and the dirty air a little bit,” Larson said after a morning run. “I feel like I learned quite a bit there and still have a lot to learn. It‘s been a good morning so far. By yourself, (the car) has a lot of grip. In traffic, it was good. The first time I got in traffic, the balance felt normal. I didn‘t feel like I went into a big transition from clean air to dirty air, but the last time, I was super tight. It was good to experience to feel what that felt like.

“The packs I’ve been in have only had two or three cars, but it‘ll be way different when the field is out there. I‘ve just got to keep getting laps, and as the packs keep getting bigger, I think I’ll learn a lot more.”

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Weather, however, cut into the field’s testing opportunities, interrupting Wednesday’s opening day and canceling a scheduled second session on Thursday. The field was split into veterans and rookies for the first four hours Wednesday, interrupted by intermittent rain. More showers halted Wednesday’s activity shortly after 2 p.m. ET—nearly four hours early.

Practice for the Indianapolis 500 opens Tuesday, May 14, with qualifying scheduled that weekend, May 18-19.