News & Multimedia

Busch Begins Busy Month With '500' Refresher Program

"Go out and have fun," Andretti Autosport engineer Craig Hampson relayed to Kurt Busch late on a sunny morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.



Indeed, the Nevada native heeded the advice on the 2.5-mile oval during a special refresher program arranged in conjunction with his schedule that will get more hectic during May. Jacques Villeneuve, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner, was the other driver on the track progressing through a refresher course.

Busch, 35, will attempt to become the fourth driver to attempt the "double" -- competing in the 98th Indianapolis 500 and the evening stock car race in Concord, N.C., on May 25. He won the latter in 2010. John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have each done it, with Stewart -- co-owner of Busch's No. 41 Sprint Cup car at Stewart Haas Racing -- becoming the first in 2001 to complete all 1,000 miles.

Kurt Busch "This attempt is something serious," said Busch, who is scheduled to join other Indy 500 rookies May 5 at the Speedway for additional laps. "It's an amazing challenge."

Busch was off to a quick start learning the Honda-powered No. 26 Suretone car, with a stiff headwind entering Turn 1 of the iconic oval, recording a best of 220.844 mph on 66 total laps before rain moved across Central Indiana late in the afternoon. ABC analyst and former Indy car driver Scott Goodyear said such wind direction was more beneficial than the alternative, which makes the car "feel like it's floating." "(Drivers) can handle a tailwind in Turn 3 better," he added.

Because he tested last May on the oval last year in an Andretti Autosport car, Busch was required to complete the formal refresher program. In addition to demonstrating car control, placement and consistent driving pattern, the program consists of 25 laps that constitute the second and third phases of the Rookie Orientation Program at speed intervals based on track and weather conditions.

“I think we’re going to be strong in the race and I think we’ve showed that the past couple of years,” said Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe, who joined multiple other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers watching the first cars on the oval in 2014. “He has more professional races under his belt than the rest of the field combined with as many races as NASCAR runs and I’m sure he’s going to adapt pretty quickly.”

Busch's May itinerary:

May 11 -- Opening of practice for Indianapolis 500 (day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway)
May 12-16 -- Practice at the Speedway, fly to North Carolina for practice May 16
May 17 -- First day of Indianapolis 500 qualifications, fly to North Carolina to qualify for All-Star race and compete in non-points race
May 18 -- Second day of Indianapolis 500 qualifications
May 19 -- Race set-up practice at the Speedway
May 20 -- In New York for media
May 23 -- Miller Lite Carb Day practice (11 a.m.-noon) at the Speedway
May 24 -- Public drivers meeting, autograph session at the Speedway; IPL 500 Festival Parade
May 25 -- Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET on ABC) , fly to North Carolina for second race
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Busch Begins Busy Month With '500' Refresher Program
 
Busch Begins Busy Month With '500' Refresher Program
Busch, 35, will attempt to become the fourth driver to attempt the "double" -- competing in the 98th Indianapolis 500 and the evening stock car race in Concord, N.C., on May 25. He won the latter in 2010. John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have each done it, with Stewart -- co-owner of Busch's No. 41 Sprint Cup car at Stewart Haas Racing -- becoming the first in 2001 to complete all 1,000 miles.
Read More
Related Media
Jimmie Johnson
 
Johnson Holds Off Harvick on Late-Race Restart in Atlanta
Coors Light Pole-sitter Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick dominated the early and middle stages of Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway—before Jimmie Johnson decided to crash the party.
Read More
Marc Marquez
 
Marquez Finishes Ahead of Riders After Second Sepang Test
Repsol Honda will be delighted by the way Marquez, whose first day was ruined by a brake problem, responded to dominate the last two days. For the Spaniard, his main focus was on evaluating different chassis types, and tweaking the set ups on each to find the one he prefers.
Read More
Joey Logano
 
Logano Captures His First Daytona 500 Victory
The record will reflect that Joey Logano won Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500 under caution, when a multicar wreck on the backstretch forced NASCAR to wave the yellow flag as Logano led the field into the final corner on the second lap of a green-white-checkered-flag finish.
Read More
Chevrolet
 
Chevrolet Details IndyCar Aero Kit Process
With three consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ championships to their credit, Chevrolet has invested a lot of additional resources to ensure it earns Number 4 at by the end of the season.
Read More
Sage Karam
 
Karam to Race in St. Petersburg
Sage Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, confirmed that he'll be on the grid for the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing GE LED Chevrolet.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,818
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
Today’s ‘1 picture, 100 words’ on The Blog features two @Team_Penske greats: http://t.co/CrfLBrz1Xx #Indy500
about 10 hours ago