With the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race schedule finalized this week and Kyle Larson’s commitments to qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 taking place on the same weekend, Kevin Harvick will serve as the “standby driver” for the No. 5 HendrickCars.com team at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Announced during FS1’s pre-race show ahead of Sunday’s race at Dover Motor Speedway, Harvick will fill in for Larson during the practice session at North Wilkesboro on Friday, May 17. Qualifying and the pit crew challenge are also on the schedule for that day. Larson also indicated in the interview that he may not be back in time for the heat races on Saturday, May 18.

“We’ve been trying to find drivers and stuff to replace me in the seat for practice,” Larson said. “We decided to go with Kevin Harvick. He is going to practice the 5. The whole team is excited.”

“When Rick (Hendrick) called a couple of days ago and said, ‘Hey, I need a favor.’ I know when the conversation starts like that usually you have to say yes,” Harvick said. “It’s going to be fun. I appreciate you guys calling.”

For Larson, the final practice session before qualifying at the Indianapolis 500 will occur on Friday, May 17. Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Saturday, May 18. The top 12 will advance to another qualifying session on Sunday, May 19, with the top six competing for the pole later that day.

Larson is the defending winner of the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro and has won the event three times. The 2021 Cup Series champion’s All-Star Race wins have come at three tracks, a series record.

Harvick retired from full-time racing after the 2023 season and currently serves as a race analyst for NASCAR on FOX‘s Cup Series coverage. The 2014 premier series champion won 60 races in his 23-year career in the sport’s top series.

— Hendrick Motorsports —

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