Kurt Busch will drive defending IndyCar series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car in a special one-off test at Indianapolis tomorrow two days before official testing begins for the 97th Indy 500 on May 26.
The unique audition could lead to Busch doing what a select band of drivers have done by performing the ultimate double duty – the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte on the same day.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion Busch received some advice from former Indy 500 champ and multiple series winner Sam Hornish jr ahead of his big test.
“I got some good advice to help some of the butterflies go away,” Busch, who ironically mentored Hornish jr when he left IndyCar to go to NASCAR.
“There’s nothing that can ever prepare you to holding a car wide open at Indianapolis going into Turn 1. In a heavy stock car, I’m used to braking (way back).”
Busch had a seat fitting and was given some finer points of using the paddle shift gearbox at the world’s most renowned Superspeedway inside the Andretti Autosport team headquarters.
IndyCar officials will run the test which will be conducted along similar lines to the Rookie Orientation Program where drivers gradually build up speed in stages.
Busch, who admitted to feeling like a kid in a candy store, could be groomed for a guest appearance at The Brickyard next year.
Team boss Michael Andretti said: “You never know; we’ll see how it goes. This was a great opportunity to get him in a car and I’m sure he’ll get right up to speed.”