TMS Media Relations | Mar 04, 2014
Jeff Gluck, USA TODAY Sports
Kurt Busch will become just the fourth driver to attempt the "Double" -- two of North America's biggest races on the same day -- when he drives in the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on May 25.
A NASCAR driver for his entire career and the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion, Busch won the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2010. He has never raced an Indy car, but said driving for Andretti Autosport with an opportunity to win both races in the same day has "always been a dream of mine."
Only John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart -- who co-owns Busch's No. 41 car in NASCAR -- have tried driving all 1,100 miles in the same day. And of those, only Stewart has completed them (he finished sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte in 2001).
NASCAR: Harvick victory masks SHR struggles
Busch, 35, tested an Indy car for Andretti last year with thoughts of becoming the first driver to try the Double since Gordon in 2004.
"That was a whole kid-in-a-candy-store moment of experiencing an open-wheel car at 220 mph," Busch said. "You can definitely get a different appreciation for the track and its heritage with an open-wheel car versus a stock car that I've done the last 15 years there.
"It got my mind going and my juices flowing on 'I want to do this.' The adrenaline and excitement was there, but last year just didn't seem like the right timing. Now 11 months of chewing on the fat and working on the details, I'm more excited than ever to do this."
The complicated itinerary is always one of the most intriguing parts of the Double attempt.
Following the May 10 NASCAR race in Kansas, Busch plans to arrive in Indianapolis for a week of testing. He'll return to Charlotte for the May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, then qualify at Indy on May 18.
The schedule gets hectic again a few days later. Busch will qualify for the Coke 600 on the night of May 22, then participate in Carb Day activities in Indy on May 23. On May 25, he'll start the 500 (noon Eastern) and fly back to Charlotte in time for NASCAR's 6 p.m. green flag.
"I want to pop quiz everyone who's done (the double) to learn as much as I can to just be able to anticipate what's next and have things checked off your list so that you're mentally prepared," Busch said. "I have to thank Stewart-Haas Racing for giving me the chance to fulfill this dream, to challenge myself in motor sports and to do something special in this day and age."
NASCAR-Coca-Cola-600, Indianapolis-500, Kurt-Busch