INDIANAPOLIS—The last time Kurt Busch came to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he was hoping to run 1,100 miles on the same day as he attempted the Indy/Charlotte double.
Busch finished the entire Indianapolis 500, finishing sixth, but ran just 406.5 of a possible 600 miles at Charlotte, the result of an engine failure two-thirds of the way through the Coca-Cola 600.
Nevertheless, with only 400 miles on his agenda for Crown Royal 400 weekend at IMS, Busch feels almost as if he’s on vacation.
“This feels like an off weekend now–I only have to do 400 miles,” Busch said. “The way that the month of May went was a tremendous feeling and a sense of accomplishment. I really enjoyed it all the way through with the two race teams, of course, with Andretti Autosport, Stewart-Haas Racing, and all the people along the way that helped make that double happen.
“Still writing thank-you notes. It’s incredible the amount of people that we touched and that reached out to us. So it’s a lot of fun to come back to Indianapolis and see (speedway president) Doug Boles again. I won’t be bumping into any of the IndyCar folks but the atmosphere here at Indianapolis is always special, and now I have a greater appreciation for the Speedway.
“And I hope the respect that I’m going to show it this weekend, it will help me bounce up on some of my results here at the track. It’s been tough in a stock car here for me.”
Though there’s precious little performance transfer between an IndyCar and a Sprint Cup car, Busch hopes the dues he paid in May will translate into improved results in July. His average NASCAR finish at IMS is 19.4, with his only top five (a fifth) coming 13 years ago.