McLaren Racing is considering Kyle Busch for the Indianapolis 500

McLaren Racing is seriously considering hosting NASCAR star Kyle Busch’s fourth Indianapolis 500.

Busch, who left Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing last week after a 15-year deal with Richard Childress Racing, is cleared to compete in the Indy 500 with the Chevrolet team.

Busch is a Las Vegas native and Arrow McLaren SP was founded by longtime Las Vegas resident Sam Schmidt. His brother Kurt drove for Andretti Autosport in the 2014 Indy 500 and finished sixth.

The talks with Busch come as the McLaren Racing boss held a town hall at the IndyCar store on Thursday to introduce new hire Brian Barnhart and quell any concerns about the team president’s sudden departure this week.

Zak Brown did not hand the title to industry veteran Barnhart, who spent last season as Alexander Rossi’s strategist at Andretti Autosport. Rossi will be part of Arrow McLaren SP’s expanded three-car line-up next season, with Barnhart reporting to Brown.

Brown told The Associated Press that he is still finalizing the senior management structure for the IndyCar branch and is “working like crazy” ahead of the additional third car. McLaren is also building a state-of-the-art shop in Indianapolis, designed to resemble an English Formula 1 factory.

It’s been a hectic season for McLaren – and Brown – as the organization has sought to stock its lineups with the best possible talent across multiple series. This led to a dispute in Formula 1 with rival team Alpine over the rights to Oscar Piastri, which McLaren won, and a $15 million buyout of Daniel Ricciardo to open Piastri’s seat.

A long legal battle followed in IndyCar for the rights to 2021 champion Alex Palou, who will ultimately remain with Chip Ganassi Racing for the final season of his contract. But he was allowed to test an F1 car for McLaren last week and should move fully to the team in 2024 if Ganassi’s deal is completed.

Now the team has lost president Taylor Kiel, who joined the organization nearly 15 years ago when Sam Schmidt Motorsports was an Indy Lights team.

“It’s been an honor to work at Arrow McLaren SP for over a decade. As I leave, I’m most proud of having grown this team into a powerhouse that can challenge and win championships every week. Now I’m looking forward to spending time with my own growing family and whatever comes next!” Kiel tweeted on Wednesday.

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

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

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