IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe believes Kurt Busch can win Indianapolis 500

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It may just be one teammate talking up the merits of another teammate, but IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe believes NASCAR driver and Indy car rookie Kurt Busch is a legitimate contender to win the Indianapolis 500 in his first-ever start there on May 25.

“He’s in an Andretti Autosport car so I definitely believe he can win,” Hinchliffe told PopularSpeed.com’s Matt Weaver.

Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won Sunday’s IndyCar race in Birmingham, Ala., will both be Busch’s teammates in the 500, and it could wind up being a great day for Andretti Autosport.

“I think we’re going to be strong in the race and I think we’ve showed that the past couple of years,” Hinchcliffe said. “(Busch is) a professional. He has more professional races under his belt than the rest of the field combined with as many races as NASCAR runs and I’m sure he’s going to adapt pretty quickly.”

Busch, who will undergo his first day of rookie orientation on Tuesday, is hoping to become the first driver to attempt the so-called “double” since Robby Gordon’s third try at the feat in 2004.

Other drivers who have attempted 1,100 total miles across two races on two diametrically opposite types of tracks and in completely different types of race cars include John Andretti and NASCAR star Tony Stewart.

Having been friends with Busch since he won the first Sprint Cup championship in 2004, Hunter-Reay told Weaver that even if he wasn’t Busch’s teammate for the 500, he still would his effort in high regard.

“For Kurt to do what he’s doing, it takes a lot of guts,” Hunter-Reay told Weaver. “To jump out of your Cup car and hop into an Indy car and immediately hop right back into a Cup car, I respect him for that.”

(Of course, if that happens, it’s likely Busch won’t make it to Charlotte for the green flag, given all the post-500 celebrations, trophy presentations, interviews and other commitments he’d have to take part in.)

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Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup