Kurt Busch can savor his Indianapolis 500 Mile Race adventure, which climaxed with a sixth-place finish, though he clocked out of his “day job” early with a blown engine.
Busch completed 406 miles in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but it was 194 short of complete the Indianapolis-North Caroline double on the same day. Busch is one of four drivers to attempt it, and Tony Stewart in 2001 is the only one to complete all 1,100 miles of racing.
Busch guided the No. 26 Suretone Andretti Autosport car into his pit stall at 3:17 p.m. (ET) and landed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a helicopter at 4:50 p.m. He started from the rear of the field after missing the driver’s meeting.
“It was an incredible journey to sniff the lead of the Indy 500 in that lead group,” Busch said on the way from pit lane to the helipad to begin the second half of his odyssey. “I'll tell you, though, the top five are incredible in this series at getting all they can out of their car, being able to keep it under control and being able to race for position.”
Busch climbed from the car and lifted both arms in celebration.
“I felt like I could hang on to that lead pack,” he added. “I gave it my all, and I know the car was better than I was, but I'm very satisfied with the sixth place.”