Kurt Busch has a leg up on his Sprint Cup series competitors this weekend – he already has a top-10 finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this season.
Busch earned an impressive sixth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 in May in his first IndyCar Series race. His attempt to complete the “double” that day by also running the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte ended with a blown engine.
But Busch comes back to Indy with fond memories.
“The way that the month of May went was a tremendous feeling and a sense of accomplishment. So it’s a lot of fun to come back to Indianapolis,” Busch said.
“The atmosphere here at Indianapolis is always special, and now I have a greater appreciation for the speedway. And I hope the respect that I’m going to show it this weekend will help me bounce up on some of my results here at the track.”
Busch appears to be off to a good start. He was sixth fastest in Friday’s lone practice session. He has made 13 starts at the Brickyard but struggled to find success. His best finish was fifth in his first race in 2001.
“I’m looking forward to running around here in a stock car. Driving down into Turn 1 won’t be the same at 220 (mph), it will be around 200,” Busch said. “But Indianapolis always challenges you no matter what car you’re driving and you have to respect the track.”
Cup teams will use a different left-side tire this weekend, the one they used earlier this year at both Dover and Kentucky.
In addition, Goodyear has increased the minimum recommended air pressure in all four tires – up four psi in the left-side tires and up five psi in the right-side ones.
Hunter-Reay, 33, won the iconic race in his seventh attempt. He also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Alabama and finished second in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Brian Scott won the bonus at Chicagoland and he, Chase Elliott, Trevor Bayne and Ty Dillon are eligible for the bonus at Indy. Whoever finishes the highest among those four wins the extra $100,000 and qualifies for Round 4 the following weekend at Iowa.