Stewart supports Kurt Busch's 500-600 double
March 04, 2014, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
Stewart knows what teammate will go through when he tries the Memorial Day double
Kurt Busch's plan to race both the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500 on the same day will have the full support of the driver who set the standard for the Memorial Day weekend double -- and now, just happens to be his boss.
Busch announced Tuesday that he would undertake both events on May 25, competing in the Indianapolis 500 for Andretti Autosport and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his usual No. 41 car for Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony Stewart is the only man to ever complete all 1,100 miles of the venture, and the SHR co-owner said he is behind Busch's effort to do the same.
"It's a great opportunity for Kurt, and I fully support him," Stewart said Tuesday in a statement provided by SHR. "He'll have a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but he has an overwhelming amount of driving talent on his side. He has a great car owner with Michael Andretti, who's not only an owner, but he's been a driver, too. Michael has so much to offer Kurt in terms of knowledge and firsthand experience. It really seems like a natural pairing."
Busch plans to test twice in an open-wheel car before the Indianapolis 500, and the 2004 NASCAR champion already has airplanes and helicopters lined up to get him back and forth to Sprint Cup events in Charlotte. Although three drivers have previously attempted the Memorial Day weekend double -- including John Andretti and Robby Gordon -- Stewart is the only one to have completed every lap in both races, that benchmark coming in 2001 when he finished sixth in Indy and third in Charlotte.
Gordon was the last driver to attempt the double, his 2004 try falling victim to weather. Busch said Stewart, who won an open-wheel title before becoming a three-time champion in NASCAR, wants to be in Indianapolis to watch the kickoff to his endeavor this May.
"He said he wanted to go and watch the beginning of the 500 with me," Busch said. "It's an amazing feeling to have a guy like Tony Stewart there."