Two years ago, Kurt Busch ran both the Indianapolis 500 then the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. Heading into his third season with Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch says there is a possibility he might try double duty again this May.
“We’re at Daytona and we’re all focused on Daytona,” Busch said at the Daytona 500 Media Day. “I think once we get through Atlanta and that ‘NASCAR Goes West’ tour, that will give a better indication on if I’m going to run Indy this year.”
“The Double,” as most NASCAR fans know it, is one of the most grueling tasks any driver can endure and has only been completed once in 10 attempts when both events are held on the same day. The only driver to complete all 1,100 miles, of course, was Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Tony Stewart in 2001.
Busch’s previous attempt fell short on Lap 271 of the Coca-Cola 600. After finishing sixth in the Indianapolis 500 — tied for the best finish in a double with Stewart and Robby Gordon — Busch finished 40th in the NASCAR race. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion took home Rookie of the Year honors at the Indy 500 for his efforts.
Winning that award and the potential of running in the 100th running of the historic race are reasons why it’s difficult to not have the Indy 500 on his radar.
“That’s why I’m still undecided,” Busch said. “I think (running in) the 100th-year anniversary would be special for everybody that participates. But at the same time, it’s very difficult to focus on both cars.”
So what are the chances that he actually follows through again? Busch wants to focus more on a strong season with SHR before any extracurricular activities outside of NASCAR.
“It is out there. It is a possibility,” Busch said. “The likelihood of it happening, though, is a small percentage.
“My focus is with the 41 Haas Automation team; we’ve got Monster Energy coming on board that we need to win for; we need to win for Haas — we need to fully focus on getting the 41 car to the championship round this year.”
In related news, A.J. Allmendinger says he has no plans of ever returning to IndyCar in the future. After the passing of former teammate and close friend Justin Wilson, Allmendinger will remain out of IndyCar competition moving forward.