Kurt Busch to test Indy car, could run Indy 500 someday
INDIANAPOLIS — Kurt Busch will test an Indy car for Andretti Autosport at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion was at Indy this week testing tires for Goodyear with Furniture Row Racing. An agreement was apparently made with Michael Andretti to return next Thursday and turn laps at the famed speedway two days before the track opens for Indianapolis 500 practice.
“I have always enjoyed racing at Indianapolis, and when IMS and Michael presented me with the opportunity to test an Indy car prior to opening day of practice of the Indianapolis 500, I jumped at it,” Busch said in a statement. “The Indianapolis 500 is an iconic event and having an opportunity to go through the testing process with Michael and Andretti Autosport, the defending series champions and two-time winners of the race, is pretty cool.”
Andretti, who won the IndyCar championship with Ryan Hunter-Reay last season, will be on hand to get Busch up to speed. Busch will drive Hunter-Reay’s No.1 Chevrolet.
“I had the chance to get to know Kurt last year when we were working on another racing project,” Andretti said. “I respect his talent and am happy to give him the opportunity to experience the raw speed of an Indy car. It’s a unique feel and perspective — it will be totally different than what he is used to driving each week on the Cup circuit.”
Busch, who tested a Champ Car at Sebring in 2003 for Bobby Rahal, said he’s interested in exploring the possibility of someday running the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Only John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon have attempted “The Double.”
AJ Allmendinger, who replaced Busch at Penske Racing last year, is running the Indy 500 this year for Roger Penske. Though Allmendinger is running a part-time Cup schedule for Phoenix Racing, he’s not running the Coca-Cola 600.
“I am looking forward to this test and experiencing IMS at the speeds the Indy cars run,” Busch said. “Let’s see how the test goes, and then I can look at the opportunities that could be beyond this coming Thursday. Running the Indianapolis 500 would certainly be a highlight, and doing another 600 miles in a Cup car on the same day would make for a special weekend.”