Busch Ready For Indy-Charlotte Challenge

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch helps team owner Michael Andretti (left) unveil his ride for the Indianapolis 500. (Photo: Andretti Autosport)


Andretti Autosport unveiled Monday the black-and-white No. 26 car that Kurt Busch seeks to race in the Indianapolis 500, and Busch will drive that car Tuesday in the first day of rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Busch is attempting to become the fourth driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have done it. Stewart finished in the top 10 in both races in 1999 and 2001.

The double was last run by Robby Gordon in 2004.

“It really comes into play today, (Tuesday) at track when I sit in as a driver behind the wheel to go 220 in race trim,’’ Busch said of his adventure. “It’s an amazing challenge, the hard work that I’ve committed to with working out and training.

Rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway consists of three phases where drivers must maintain a consistent speed within a preset range. Typically the range is 200-210 mph, 210-215 mph and then 215 and above. Once they have met those standards while being judged by observers, they are cleared to practice for the Indianapolis 500.

Jacques Villeneuve, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner, also is scheduled to run Tuesday as he takes a refresher test at the speedway.

A second day of testing will be May 5. Busch will be allowed to run that day regardless of if he completes the rookie requirements Tuesday, an IndyCar official confirmed. Busch is scheduled to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 11 - the day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway - for practice.

Busch has not driven an IndyCar since testing with Andretti Autosport last May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch ran 83 laps with a lap circuit of 218.210 mph.

“We were quite impressed,’’ car owner Michael Andretti said of Busch’s performance in that test. “We started a dialogue all the way back then and it’s finally become a reality. We’re looking forward to great things.’’

Suretone Entertainment will be Busch’s sponsor. 

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