Kurt Busch: No talks yet on a second Indy-Charlotte double

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As he looked back on his May attempt to run all 1,100 miles of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, Kurt Busch admitted that he ponders over whether he could do it all over again.

“Every day I wake up and I’m like, ‘Yes, let’s do it again,'” Busch said today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before practice began for this weekend’s Brickyard 400.

“Then there are thoughts of ‘I finished sixth, that’s pretty special.’ I don’t know if I could achieve that result again.”

Busch finished a superb sixth for Andretti Autosport in the ‘500‘, which served as his first IndyCar race ever.

But in the ‘600,’ his No. 41 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet suffered engine failure and took Busch out with less than 194 miles to go in his bid to complete the Double.

So with that 1,100-mile goal still yet to be reached by him, there figures to be incentive to give it another shot next year.

The Outlaw said today that no talks have yet begun on a 2015 Double program but also noted that he was “more than willing” to run one.

“After the month of May and winding down through June, and just like today coming back to the Speedway, there’s different moments of when it tells me, ‘Yes, let’s go do it again,'” he said. “Then there’s moments of ‘Just wait, let things pan out.’ My focus right now honestly is that 41 car and the Chase that’s coming up.”

“We last year went to — I don’t remember which date it was, and said this has to be our cutoff. So I think we’ll have some talks again. We’ll have some other dinners and time to hang out. We’ll see what presents itself.

“I mean, I’m more than willing to jump back in and try to do a full 1,100 miles because that’s the objective, to complete all 1100. It’s something special and it’s a target, and it’s only been achieved once. It’s very difficult to do.”

Tony Stewart, Busch’s teammate and boss at SHR, remains the only driver to have run all 1,100 miles of the Indy-Charlotte double. He pulled off the feat in 2001, finishing sixth in the ‘500’ and third in the ‘600.’

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Sebastien Bourdais

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. A dream start occurred for Sebastien Bourdais and the Dale Coyne Racing team upon their reunion, followed by a nightmare in Indianapolis with a huge crash in qualifying, and ended with a rapid recovery to build confidence for 2018.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

  • 2016: 14th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 3rd, 1 Podium, 3 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 24 Laps Led, 11.9 Avg. Start, 11.2 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 21st Place (8 Starts), 1 Win, Best Start 6th, 2 Podiums, 2 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 74 Laps Led, 12.4 Avg. Start, 11.0 Avg. Finish

The 2017 campaign for Sebastien Bourdais upon his return to Dale Coyne Racing will forever be known as both a year of “what could have been” and a year of “what a comeback it was.”

The abnormal season for Bourdais stretched eight races with a three-month break in the middle owing to his own mistake qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, which left him with multiple pelvic fractures and a fracture to his right hip. His car was a rocket ship; but after two laps at 231 mph, Bourdais appeared to over-correct and destroyed the wall at Turn 2 in Indy in a massive 127G impact. It was a horrific looking accident, but one that also saw Bourdais rather lucky to have not been injured worse.

It set forth in motion an incredible recovery that saw Bourdais back testing the Monday after Mid-Ohio, just over two months since the accident, then in race action just over three months later at the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park oval, and because Bourdais is a regulation badass, he finished in the top-10 straight out of the box. He worked as hard as he did to return earlier than anticipated to avoid an offseason of questions asking if he’d come back and if he’d be strong enough to do so.

The recovery was a welcome story to end the year after the agony at Indy that stopped a potential title run or certainly top-five in points finish in its tracks. A classic Coyne strategy special vaulted Bourdais from last to first and a popular win in his U.S. hometown of St. Petersburg to kick off the year. A second place at Long Beach backed it up and eighth at Barber kept him atop the standings.

But Indy was shaping up to be an important bounce back weekend after Bourdais got taken out in Phoenix, then incurred an engine failure in the IMS road course race. And then, of course, his loud and violent accident qualifying for the ‘500 changed the course of the season.

After three “almost there” but largely unfulfilling years at KV Racing Technology, Bourdais embraced the family atmosphere back at Coyne along with longtime engineers Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson, determined to continue punching above the team’s weight. He crafted a remarkable story all season and will be keen to fulfill it over the course of a proper full campaign in 2018.