Kurt Busch to Attempt the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 Double
On Memorial Day Weekend, Kurt Busch will look to do something that hasn't been attempted in more than a decade - complete the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, May 25.
"This is really to challenge myself in motorsports," said Busch. "It's always been a dream of mine."
At the Indianapolis 500, his entry will complete a stable of five for Michael Andretti's championship winning IndyCar team. He turned his first laps in an Indy car in 2013, completing a test day with Andretti Autosport at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "That was a whole kid-in-a-candy-store moment of experiencing an open-wheel car at 220 mph," said Busch. "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."
At the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kurt will race in his familiar No. 41 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, a team owned by Tony Stewart, who is one of only three other people to ever attempt the "Double" (along with John Andretti and Robby Gordon).
"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," said Busch. "I have to thank Stewart-Haas Racing for giving me the chance to fulfill this dream, to challenge myself in motorsports and to do something special in this day and age."
The 35-year-old will start the two week Indy 500 stretch in Indianapolis on May 11, fresh from his Kansas race. After spending the week testing in the Honda-powered Indy car, Kurt will travel to Charlotte for May 17's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race before jetting, courtesy of Cessna, back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to qualify for the 500-mile race on May 18. A week outside of the car will then give the Las Vegas native a chance to rest before the 1,100-mile race weekend kicks off with LiftMaster Pole Night at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22, then Carb Day in Indy on May 23. Race day will place Busch in Indianapolis in the morning for the noon start time of the Indianapolis 500 before he makes the trip to Charlotte for the 6 p.m. green flag.
"As a past Coca-Cola 600 champion, Kurt Busch knows what a test of endurance 600 miles can be. To race 1,100 is nearly impossible. Our records show that only one driver has ever completed all 1,100 miles of the double in the same day, and that was by Kurt's new team co-owner, Tony Stewart," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "To even attempt this takes a lot of guts. Fans will appreciate this effort, and I know they'll be as excited as I will watching the clock to see if he can make it to Charlotte in time for our green flag."
"And it's even extra special for me that this is happening on Memorial Day weekend," added Busch. "I really want to dedicate this to all the men and women who defend our freedom."
Busch is an active advocate of the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), recently merging his own foundation with AFF, and donating $100,000 to the organization through AFF's "Kurt Busch Project." Kurt's girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, is President and Executive Board Member of AFF.
"We're constantly working to drive awareness to PTSD and its consequences," says Driscoll. "Every 65 minutes, a veteran commits suicide. They need to know that help is out there. Hopefully, something as high profile as this can really help get the message to those who need it the most."
If fans want to support the Armed Forces Foundation, they can text AFF to 50555 to donate $10, or visit www.armedforcesfoundation.org.
Weekend passes for the Coca-Cola 600 include frontstretch tickets to LiftMaster Pole Night, the HISTORY 300 and the Coca-Cola 600. These passes start at just $99 and include a free scanner rental.
Tickets for all 10 Blockbuster Days of Racing are available and can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
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