McLaren considering Kyle Busch for Indy 500


 Arrow McLaren SP is interested in an Indy 500 entry for Kyle Busch as the NTT IndyCar Series team shores up its executive ranks in the wake of its president leaving.

The head of McLaren Racing held a town hall Thursday at its IndyCar shop to introduce new hire Brian Barnhart and quell any concerns over this week’s sudden departure of Taylor Kiel.

Zak Brown did not give a title for Barnhart, an industry veteran who spent the past season as strategist for Alexander Rossi at Andretti Autosport. Rossi will be part of Arrow McLaren SP’s expanded three-car lineup next season, and Barnhart will report to Brown.

Brown told The Associated Press he was still finalizing the structure of the IndyCar arm’s senior management team and “hiring like crazy” in advance of the additional third car. McLaren is also building a state-of-the-art shop in Indianapolis designed to be similar to its Formula One factory in England.

And the team is in serious conversation about running a fourth Indianapolis 500 entry for two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch, who has wanted to race the Brickyard in May for several years. The effort likely would be backed by Menards as Busch, who last week left Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing after 15 years to sign with Richard Childress Racing, has permission to compete in the Indy 500 with a Chevrolet team.

Though he was vague on what his next move is, it is widely believed that Kiel will be introduced at Ganassi as soon as his non-compete clause expires. It is unclear what Kiel’s role would be. Mike Hull, his stepfather, has been with Ganassi for more than three decades and as managing director essentially runs the organization.

McLaren has said only about Kiel: “Taylor Kiel is stepping down as Arrow McLaren SP President after two seasons. As the team grows to three cars for the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season, announcements on team management will be made in due course.”

Barnhart, meanwhile, is the former president of race operations and race director of IndyCar. He joined Harding Racing in 2017, which then evolved into Harding Steinbrenner Racing and was then absorbed by Andretti Autosport

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