News & Multimedia

NASCAR Champ Busch Completes Indianapolis 500 Rookie Test

NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch completed the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program during a test Thursday, May 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, reaching a top speed of 218.210 mph in an Andretti Autosport car.

But Busch is still taking a cautious approach toward any thoughts of participating in “The Double” of racing in the 97th Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26.

“I need to get more comfortable in the Indy car because on a day like today, I'm white-knuckle, my hands were tense and firm, and that was only after 10 laps," Busch said. "And so then it started to settle in.

“So there’s the mental side of it, there’s the physical side, there's the sponsorship side that has to come together, and right now with Kyle Moyer (general manager, Andretti Autosport) looking sideways at Michael, Michael wants to do it, but they've already got five cars committed to trying to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 this year.

“To crawl, then walk, and then walk and then run, I think the proper thing is to go out and experience this car at another oval track and get into a race and experience what the buffeting is and the movement of the car when all the downforce changes.”
Busch completed the Rookie Orientation Program in which all drivers must participate to compete in Indianapolis 500 practice and qualifying, under the supervision of INDYCAR officials. Busch fulfilled all three phases of the program: 10 laps at 200-205 mph, 15 laps at 205-209 mph and 15 laps at 210-plus mph.

Las Vegas native Busch totaled 83 laps on the day in the No. 1 DHL Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone that reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive in the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport team owner and Indianapolis 500 legend Michael Andretti and Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe, a winner of two of this season’s four races, assisted Busch during the test.
“Today was an ideal day,” Busch said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better as a rookie to come to Indy and have the track prepped the way it was and have the perfect weather conditions.”

Busch entered into the test knowing that driving into Turn 1 at IMS in an open-wheel Indy car would provide different challenges from what he’s experienced  in a Sprint Cup stock car while driving in the Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com.

“Today, that was the biggest transition,” Busch said. “When you want to step into the real world, that's to hold it wide open, and when you do that, your brain says, ‘Wait a minute, you're not supposed to do that because in the stock car how heavy it is and the lack of downforce.’ So when I did hold it wide open, I was off on my line, actually apexed too early, had a little extra wheel input on exit, and it changed the game. But then once I left it on the floor, the car started to come back to me and the pace started to slow down in my mind, even though the pace kept getting quicker with lap time.”

Andretti was thrilled with Busch’s performance.

“Well, I think it was good for us,” Andretti said. “We got our first laps in May, so that's always nice. We wanted to do it in the proper way, and we wanted to do it in the proper way mostly for Kurt. We wanted him to have a real experience. We wanted to make some changes that he could feel and start to understand a little bit more about what to expect with the car in different conditions and different setups. I think we were able to achieve that.

“I would say the day went as good as we could have expected. Kurt did exactly what I thought he was going to do. He just drove exactly the way we wanted him to do it. He gave great feedback, right on pace, built up to it nice and steady, didn't do anything stupid, which we knew he wouldn't, and it was a really good day.”
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
NASCAR Champ Busch Completes Indianapolis 500 Rookie Test
 
NASCAR Champ Busch Completes Indianapolis 500 Rookie Test
NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch completed the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Orientation Program during a test Thursday, May 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, reaching a top speed of 218.210 mph in an Andretti Autosport car.
Read More
Related Media
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
IndyCar Drivers Excited How 2018 Car is Taking Shape
It’s been two months since the unveiling of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series car concept drawings at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. More detailed images were released today.
Read More
A.J. Foyt
 
New IMS Museum Exhibit To Celebrate A.J. Foyt
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of his record-setting fourth Indianapolis 500 win, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is proud to present a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit honoring auto racing icon A.J. Foyt, opening April 14.
Read More
2018 IndyCar
 
INDYCAR Unveils New Images of 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Car Design
INDYCAR, sanctioning body for the premier North American open-wheel racing series, released new images today of the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will be used by all competitors in 2018. Following along with this year's INDYCAR theme of "NEXT," the computer-generated images are the next evolution of the car's development process and provide more detail than concept sketches released in January.
Read More
Pippa Mann
 
Mann Joins Indy 500 Lineup for Dale Coyne Racing
Mann will return to Dale Coyne Racing for a fifth consecutive year to pilot the team’s third entry in the 101st Indianapolis 500. The British driver will once again be paired with Ridgely, who was her engineer when she scored her best Verizon IndyCar Series finish in 2015 (13th), as well as her best Indy 500 result (18th) last year.
Read More
Simon Pagenaud
 
Watch Chevy Stars Test for Indy 500 Saturday at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway invites fans to watch an Indianapolis 500 test by Chevrolet teams Saturday, April 1. Fans can view the test for free from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with a lunch break from noon-1 p.m., from the Turn 2 Viewing Mounds, IMS Museum Lot or the South Terrace Grandstands. Free parking is available in the Museum Lot for fans.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,315
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
1964. A.J. Foyt's second #Indy500 victory. See all four winning cars at an unprecedented @IMSMuseum exhibit:… https://t.co/TWVEMHIblc
about 1 hour ago