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Kyle Larson NASCAR North Wilkesboro All-Star Race Qualifying 5th Indy 500 Arrival

NASCAR star Kyle Larson arrives at North Wilkesboro Speedway for All-Star Race after qualifying for Indianapolis 500. Fans cheer his arrival.

Kyle Larson has made his grand entrance at North Wilkesboro Speedway for the highly anticipated All-Star Race on Sunday night, following a whirlwind day where he qualified fifth for the prestigious Indianapolis 500. The NASCAR sensation is on a quest for his fourth All-Star Race victory, aiming to equal the record set by Jimmie Johnson.

Arriving at Wilkes County Airport by plane, Larson was then whisked away by helicopter to the racetrack, where he made his way to his hauler via golf cart to gear up for the 200-lap exhibition race with a whopping $1 million prize on the line. Fans erupted in cheers as Larson made his way into the track, graciously acknowledging their support with waves.

Expressing his excitement, Larson shared, "I'm thrilled to be here. The energy is electric. Hopefully, we can deliver an exciting performance and secure a win tonight." Despite not having practiced on the freshly paved track this week, Larson will have to start from the back of the 20-car field due to missing the qualifying session. However, his previous victories at the All-Star Race and Trucks Race at the venue last year showcase his potential for a strong comeback.

"I'll focus on quickly adapting to the track conditions at the start and finding my rhythm. From there, we can steadily make our way to the front. With 200 laps ahead of us, there's ample opportunity to progress," Larson explained. NASCAR and FOX collaborated to delay the race start by 16 minutes to 8:30 p.m. to accommodate Larson's tight schedule after his unexpected success in Indianapolis.

Seventeen drivers secured their spots in the race through past achievements, while Ty Gibbs and Bubba Wallace from the All-Star Open, along with fan-favorite Noah Gragson, also earned their entries. Joey Logano will lead the pack from the pole position after topping the qualifying charts on Saturday.

Inclement weather forced the cancellation of the two 60-lap heats meant to finalize the starting lineup, resulting in the field being determined by qualifying order. Larson's dominant performance in last year's race, where he led 145 laps and built an impressive 11-second lead, sets high expectations for his performance this year.

Chad Knaus, vice president of competition at Hendrick Motorsports, commended Larson's remarkable debut in Indianapolis, praising his exceptional talent and unwavering composure in high-pressure situations. "He's a standout talent who excels in any racing environment," Knaus remarked.

As the anticipation builds for the All-Star Race, all eyes are on Larson as he aims to make history once again in this adrenaline-fueled event.

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