Kurt Busch has officially announced today that he will attempt to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500 driving a 5th car for Andretti Autosport. The 2004 Sprint Cup Champion will become the 4th driver to do the Indy 500/Coca Cola 600 double, following John Andretti, Robby Gordon and NASCAR team boss Tony Stewart.
Busch says that this is a childhood dream come true for him and couldn’t be more excited to race at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
My dad, a Mac Tools distributor, and I would go to car shows and see Indy cars and he’d say, ‘This is about as close as you’ll ever get to one of these things’ because it was so far removed from what we could dream as a small blue-collar family from Las Vegas. It’s just the different opportunities that have come up in motorsports (that have led me) to this biggest moment outside of stock cars.
Busch initially tested an IndyCar for Andretti Autosport last May and completed his rookie orientation in the process.
Despite not being in an open wheel car on an oval (he tested a Champ Car at Sebring in 2003), Busch found that the test last may got his interests fixed on running the Indianapolis 500.
“That was a whole kid in a candy store moment of experiencing an open-wheel car at 220 mph,” he 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.”
Busch will also be competing to support the Armed Forces Foundation, which is a personal motivator for Busch and something that he is active in off the track.