Report: Michael Andretti wants Kurt Busch back for Indy 500

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Michael Andretti wants Kurt Busch back to drive in the 2015 Indianapolis 500.

According to a report on FoxSports.com, Andretti said the door is open for Busch to return for a second consecutive attempt at “The Double” on May 24: Racing in the 99th Indy 500 in the early afternoon and then competing in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway that evening.

“I am a big supporter of Kurt and if we are able to put a deal together for him to run the Indianapolis 500 I will still run him,” Andretti told FOXSports.com. “He did a great job at the Indy 500 last year.

“Right now, our focus is on putting a fourth car together but there is still a possibility for something to come together for Indy. I would love to do it with Kurt Busch again. He was a pleasure to work with.”

Busch won Rookie of the Year honors in his first Indy 500 last May, finishing sixth in the so-called Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

His luck wasn’t as good in the NASCAR nightcap in Charlotte, where mechanical issues forced him out about two-thirds through the race, ultimately ending up with a 40th-place finish.

For now, Andretti isn’t letting Busch’s legal issues with former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll come into play in his decision to once again run the Las Vegas native in an Indy car.

The next hearing in the case is Jan. 12. It could be announced then whether Busch will face criminal charges stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident in his motorhome at Dover International Speedway last September.

Dover (Del.) police have completed their criminal investigation and forwarded their findings to the Delaware Attorney General to determine whether Busch will or will not face charges.

As for Andretti Autosport’s overall plans for the Indy 500:

“We want to have a fourth full-time car, that’s our goal,” Andretti told FoxSports.com. “We are working very hard to get to four cars.

“My ultimate goal is to run five cars for the full year but, if we don’t, we want to do a one-off at Indy at least and, if we can put something together with Kurt Busch, we would love to do it.

“He was a real professional and learned a lot to the point where I think he would be a real factor in the race if we put something together. He did a hell of a job last year without experience.

“Now, with one more year of experience, I think Kurt Busch could be a real factor in the Indianapolis 500 in 2015.”

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Meyer Shank Racing wins second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona to begin GTP era

Rolex 24 Meyer Shank
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Grand Touring Prototype era began just as the previous one ended as Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura captured its second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona with star Tom Blomqvist emphatically starting and finishing the race.

The No. 60 ARX-06 won the 24-hour endurance classic at Daytona International Speedway by 4.190 seconds over Filipe Albuquerque of Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, giving Acura a sweep of the top two spots.

The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh cars took the next two spots with Renger van der Zande (the No. 01) and Earl Bamber (No. 02) as four of the nine new GTP cars finished on the lead lap within 12 seconds of each other – quashing the prerace hand-wringing of mass failures for the highly technical cars in the debut of the hybrid prototype premier category.

There were major problems for the manufacturer newcomers Porsche Penske Motorsport and BMW M Team RLL, whose two pairs of cars all finished at least a dozen laps down or more because of major mechanical problems in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

But there were no such failures for Acura despite the manufacturer skipping any endurance testing with the new LMDh car.

It’s the third Rolex 24 at Daytona victory for co-owner Mike Shank, who won his first in 2012.

Just as he capped the 2022 season by winning the Petit Le Mans season finale in the No. 60 Acura to clinch the final championship of the DPi division for MSR, Blomqvist was behind the wheel again for his third overall victory in IMSA.

“That was crazy,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee. “I knew we had a fantastic car. I’ve been working hard. Unbelievable. Massive, well done, everyone being part of this project and worked together on this project. What a car we’ve built.

“I was just a bit nervous. The 10 was definitely second fastest car, but we held them off.”

It was the second consecutive Rolex 24 victory for MSR’s trio of Blomqvist, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves, who were joined this year by Colin Braun (winning his first Rolex 24 overall).

Castroneves joined select company in winning the Rolex 24 in three consecutive years (his first win was with Wayne Taylor Racing in 2021). Castroneves and Pagenaud are entering their second consecutive year as teammates for Meyer Shank Racing’s Dallara-Hondas in the NTT IndyCar Series.

“Can you believe that?” Castroneves told Lee. “Big props to everyone. Everyone did an amazing job. Everybody worked so hard together. We got it! Another one. I can’t believe it. This is absolutely a dream come true.”

The four-time Indy 500 winner led the team in his signature fence-climbing celebration afterward — just as he had when he finished MSR’s victory in last year’s Rolex 24 and when he won the 2021 Indy 500 for the team.

“It’s always fun to climb the fence with Helio,” said Pagenaud, who drove the second-to-last stint before Blomqvist closed it out: “The competition as amazing. It was tough out there. So much fun. Hope you had as much fun as we had. I’m going to savor this one.”

Winners in other classes were the No. 55 ORECA 07 of Proton Competition (which triumphed on a last-lap pass by James Allen on Ben Hanley), WeatherTech Racing’s No. 79 Mercedes in GTD Pro, Heart of Racing’s No. 27 Aston Martin in GTD and AWA’s No. 17 in LMP3.