A five-time Indianapolis 500 starter himself, Tony Stewart told the Indianapolis Star Tuesday he thinks his fellow NASCAR champion Kurt Busch could make the field too if he chooses to, next year.
“There’s not a doubt in my mind that he could make the (500’s) field,” Stewart told the Star’s Curt Cavin, following a sponsor event at the garage where he stores his classic cars. “If he gets with the right team — and obviously he’s going with Andretti — I don’t see any problem making the starting field for sure.”
Stewart last raced the Indy 500 in 2001, the second year he did “the double” of racing both at Indianapolis and at NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on the same day. Penske Racing had offered Stewart a chance to race in this year’s 500, according to a report by ESPN, but Stewart declined. Not only does he drive his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, but he oversees the Stewart Haas Racing team as a whole.
Busch, who will test the IndyCar on Thursday for Andretti Autosport, last tested an open-wheel car for Bobby Rahal’s team in 2003. He also recently participated in a car swap with Australian V8 Supercars driver James Courtney at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, in a media event ahead of the V8 race there May 17-19.