Kurt Busch will attempt to complete the racing double, which only three other drivers have tried, when he competes in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
That was a whole kid-in-a-candy-store moment of experiencing an open-wheel car at 220 mph. You can definitely get a different appreciation for the track and its heritage with an open-wheel car versus a stock car that I've done the last 15 years there. It got my mind going and my juices flowing on 'I want to do this.' The adrenaline and excitement was there, but last year just didn't seem like the right timing. Now 11 months of chewing on the fat and working on the details, I'm more excited than ever to do this.
The two marquee events are scheduled for May 25. Busch will drive for the Andretti Autosport team in the Indy 500 in a race scheduled to start at 12 p.m. ET and then travel to Charlotte Motor Speedway for NASCAR's longest race, which is set for 6 p.m. ET.
The challenges that come along with trying to complete the double are numerous, which is why it's so rare despite the allure of competing in two major races.
Securing special travel arrangements is essential because the margin for error is thin. Busch will need to complete the Indy 500 and immediately begin the process of traveling to Charlotte.
John Oreovicz of ESPN provided remarks Busch made on Fox & Friends about the plan of attack:
It's a big day for us. The logistical side is a big challenge, and the other challenge was getting two teams like this with the caliber of Andretti Autosport and Stewart-Haas Racing to win this race lined up.
Cessna's plane travel company is going to help me get back and forth. In this day and age of social media, everyone's going to want to keep up with us. It's Memorial Day weekend, and this isn't just a PR stunt.
Then there's the issue on endurance. Racing 1,100 miles across two different styles of racing and tracks on a quick turnaround is daunting. And like he says, it's not a publicity stunt; he's going to both tracks with an eye on strong finishes in each.
Only one driver has completed all 1,100 miles, according to Sports Illustrated: Busch's team owner Tony Stewart, who finished sixth in Indy and third in Charlotte in 2001 (finishing on the lead lap in both races).
Finally, the biggest issue out of his control is the weather. If the conditions in Indianapolis are bad enough to delay the race or his travel following the race, everything can get thrown off schedule. So there's certainly a dash of luck involved when it comes to completing the feat.
Busch did receive a message of support from fellow NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson:
For outsiders, the idea of competing in both races is a novelty, but for Busch it's a dream. Whether the numerous factors will all fall into place for him on race day is obviously the biggest question mark, but after waiting an extra year, he's ready to give it his best effort.
The attempt should also boost ratings for both races because it's the type of thing that automatically generates extra buzz. As Busch mentions, in the age of social media, there will be fans looking to track every step of his journey that day.
Pulling it off would put him in a special group.
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