Was Kyle Busch about to join his brother Kurt among the ranks of NASCAR drivers to run both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600?
Busch said Friday at Indianapolis that he had a ride lined up for the Indianapolis 500. But it got squashed.
“I had it done last year – sold and everything ready to go – and I’ve got a boss that said no,” Busch said before making references to team owner Joe Gibbs and his wife Samantha.
“Figure it out. I’ve got two bosses – one’s a male and one’s a female.”
Gibbs has had a driver run both races in the same day before. Tony Stewart ran both races in the same day in 1999 and 2001. Coincidentally, Kurt Busch ran the Indy 500 and the 600 in the same day in 2014 while driving for Stewart’s Cup Series team.
When Kurt Busch attempted 1100 miles he was the first driver to do so in 10 years and received a ton of attention for doing both races. Kyle Busch would have as well, but any attempt in 2017 would have been overshadowed by the appearance of Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso in the race.
“I’m kind of glad it didn’t come together because Alonso kind of stole the headlines the last time it was done, but, you know, there may be more in the future guys coming over to run that race, so, you know, I may have to split the limelight if you will with somebody else that kind of wants to do that race, but I think it’d be fun,” Busch said. “It’d be a unique opportunity.”
Alonso ran the race for Andretti Autosport, the same team that fielded a car for Kurt Busch in 2014. And much like Kurt Busch, Alonso was competitive. Heck, even more so. Alonso led 27 laps before an engine failure relegated him to a 24th-place finish.
Kyle Busch said the biggest fear about ever attempting the race is his unfamiliarity with IndyCars. Like his brother (and Alonso) an Indy 500 attempt would be his first IndyCar race.
“I think the biggest thing that scares my boss is that I’ve never driven those cars and so I don’t know – you know, a Cup car or an Xfinity car or a truck or something like that like I know what to feel and how to feel and when something bad starts to happen, I can straighten it out or normally I can try to fix it although that didn’t quite happen one time,” Busch said. “So I think that’s probably the biggest fear is just not knowing what those cars do when you get into a bad situation.”
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