After two days of testing the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup car this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch left the track knowing he was going to get more seat time at the famed oval before the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard in July. But this time, the additional seat time will be behind the wheel an IZOD IndyCar Series car.
2004 Sprint Cup Series champion Busch will test a Chevrolet-powered Andretti Autosport Indy car Thursday morning, May 9, just two days before IMS officially opens for practice for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport team owner and IMS legend Michael Andretti will be on hand to provide driver coaching and assist in getting Busch up to speed quickly.
"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. "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."
Said Andretti: "I had the chance to get to know Kurt last year when we were working on another racing project. 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 left open the door to compete in "The Double" - racing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day - in the future.
"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."
Only three drivers have attempted the Memorial Day weekend "Double" - John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon.