NASCAR-focused Busch enjoys IndyCar test

April 25, 2013, Staff report,

Speeds provide thrills, but driver won't do 'The Double' this year

Kurt Busch isn’t trading in his stock car any time soon. Driving the No. 78 Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing, Busch has reiterated his top goal this racing season is to make the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Still, that didn’t stop the 2004 Cup champion from accepting an invitation to drive an IndyCar vehicle Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

And what a drive it was. Busch completed 83 laps on the 2.5-mile oval, reaching a top speed of 218.210 mph in the process in a car owned by IndyCar legend Michael Andretti.

“Pinch me, I am like a kid in a candy store,” Busch said after his first run, according to a release from Furniture Row Racing. “To drive an Indy car owned by Michael Andretti at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the month of May is pretty special.”

The test run at Indianapolis added to the ever-growing aura that Busch is a driver capable of handling a variety of vehicles -- he drove an Australian V8 Supercar in Texas on April 23, for example, and has experience in prototype cars and NHRA Pro Stock cars.

“Kurt did exactly what I thought he was going to do,” Andretti said. “He just drove exactly the way we wanted him to do it. He gave great feedback, right on pace, built up to nice and steady. He didn’t do anything stupid, which we knew he wouldn’t. It was a really good day.”

After the event was completed, the question -- perhaps unspoken to a degree -- was if Busch would participate in the famed “Double” and drive in the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, then fly to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600.

Busch said he won’t attempt that this year because he'd rather be in Charlotte with his Furniture Row team, but he might consider it in the future.

His No. 78 Cup team was certainly glad to hear that, and those guys had a surprise of their own during Busch’s testing -- they showed up, unannounced, to support the driver at Indianapolis.

“When our Furniture Row guys showed up it made a great day even better,” said Busch. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

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