Kurt Busch: Indy 500 return is “something we haven’t talked about”

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Last May, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch finished sixth in a fine first appearance at the Indianapolis 500.

But today in Charlotte during the NASCAR Media Tour, Busch said that a second attempt at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing – and with that, a second attempt at The Double of the “500” and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day – has not been discussed by him and team owners Tony Stewart and Michael Andretti.

“It’s nice to have Tony Stewart’s blessing to run Indy, and Michael Andretti giving me the access to come back to give it a shot, but it’s something we haven’t talked about,” Busch said during this afternoon’s presser for Stewart-Haas Racing.

“There’s been plenty of other things in this offseason to stay focused on.”

That’s certainly true for Busch, who is not only preparing for the 2015 season with new crew chief Tony Gibson but was involved recently in a courtroom hearing based on alleged assault charges from his ex-girlfriend.

As for Andretti, who fielded Busch’s Verizon IndyCar Series machine at last year’s “500,” he told FoxSports.com earlier this month that while Andretti Autosport’s main focus is on fielding a fourth car for the 2015 IndyCar season, there was still a chance for something to come together with Busch for the Month of May.

“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,” Andretti said in that interview. “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.”

Busch’s ride with Andretti for last year’s “500” was not announced until March, a little less than three months before the race. Going off of that, there’s still time for another deal to emerge this year – but obviously, that time is ticking away.

After finishing sixth in the “500,” Busch was whisked away to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600. His bid to join teammate/boss Stewart as the only drivers to complete all 1,100 miles of the Double ended with engine failure on his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at Lap 274 of 400 – less than 200 miles from that mark.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will race the No. 3 vs. IndyCar stars in Michigan iRacing

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The invite has been received, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has another iRacing event on his schedule.

The NASCAR on NBC analyst tweeted Wednesday that he will make his debut in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge with Saturday’s race at Michigan Speedway. The race will be shown live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

The 2-mile oval was chosen by IndyCar drivers as the third track in the six-race series. Earnhardt heartily endorsed Michigan as a potential iRacing venue Monday along with Daytona and Talladega. Michigan nearly was selected by fans as the opener in the iRacing Challenge.

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Earnhardt, a longtime avid iRacing fan, had been lobbying since last Thursday that he was interested in racing with IndyCar drivers.

He has driven in the first three races of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational, finishing second to Denny Hamlin in the opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Last year, he attended his first Indianapolis 500, working as an analyst as part of NBC Sports’ inaugural broadcast of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“I’d love to do it,” Earnhardt said Monday about joining the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “I think I’d love to get to know those guys.

“I had such a great time at the Indy 500 last year, and the reception that I received from other drivers there really meant a lot to me. So I know they’re all a lot of great dudes in that series that I already know that I’d love to get to know some of them even better.”

It already has been quite the week for Earnhardt, who was announced Monday as one of 15 nominees for the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The field for Saturday’s race at Michigan should include another  NASCAR driver in Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time Cup champion has driven the first two races of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (and has plans to race IndyCar part time in the future).