The countdown is on and preparations are in full swing as Kurt Busch prepares for his attempt at “The Double” – racing both the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 25.
For the second week in a row, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is splitting time between his Sprint Cup and IndyCar duties.
Busch spent Monday in Indianapolis driving an Andretti Autosport IndyCar at Indianapolis and, by the end of the week, he will turn his attention back to Sprint Cup Series and Saturday night’s Kansas 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
Busch is drawn to the challenge of “The Double” – two of the most prestigious races in auto racing, on auto racing’s biggest day of the year, in two different cities separated by nearly 600 miles, with 1,100 miles of racing in one day.
On April 29, Busch completed all phases of his rookie orientation program, running 66 laps and reaching a top speed of 220.844 mph in his No. 26 Andretti Autosport car.
Busch was back in action at Indianapolis Monday, when he logged 114 laps and reached a top speed of 222.289 mph as he worked to gain familiarity and comfort in the open-wheel car. In addition to logging laps, Busch also spent some time working with his IndyCar crew on pit stops.
After spending Monday in Indianapolis, Busch traveled to Maryland to resume his fitness and nutritional regimen as he is in constant training for the demands of both races.
Busch is scheduled to arrive in Kansas Thursday night and switch his attention back to the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet and Saturday night’s Sprint Cup event. The No. 41 team is looking to end its recent string of bad luck with a good run at Kansas. Busch scored a second-place finish, a career best at Kansas, in his last trip to the 1.5-mile oval in October 2013.
Busch knows the No. 41 team’s March 30 win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway virtually guarantees the team a spot in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, but adding a second win would cement its place in the 10-race playoff. SHR teammate Kevin Harvick and Team Penske driver Joey Logano are the first two drivers to score multiple wins on the season, and Busch is one of six single-race winners as the series heads to race 11 of 36.
In 16 career starts at Kansas Speedway, Busch has one pole, one top-five finish and four top-10s with an average finish of 17th. He also has led 239 laps at Kansas.