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Kurt Busch rules out Indianapolis 500 run for 2016

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The 2014 Indianapolis 500 rookie-of-the-year, Kurt Busch, has announced Wednesday that he will not be competing in the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Busch wrote this statement on his website:

“After seriously contemplating making another run at “The Double”, and in response to the many questions I receive on the subject as the Month of May approaches, I wanted to state that I will not be participating in this year’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500,” Busch wrote.

“I must say this was not an easy decision and it does not in any way reflect upon my desire to compete again in one of the world’s greatest races; it is based solely on a need to maintain the focus and momentum we have built early in this NASCAR season with our #41 Stewart-Haas Racing, Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy team – hopefully all the way to Homestead and the championship weekend.

“My experience with Andretti Autosport and its drivers was so very positive and the way in which the IndyCar fans and media welcomed me, it is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my career both personally and professionally. Fortunately, Michael and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway have left the door open for a future run, and perhaps one day I will take them up on that, it just won’t be this year.”

In truth, Busch’s options were limited this year anyway, based on the remaining to-be-filled seats.  Theoretically though, Busch was the best option if Haas Automation wanted to have a presence in all three Memorial Day races.

Although Andretti Autosport plans to run a fifth car, Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reported last month that Busch wouldn’t be in an Andretti car this year.

That being said, Michael Andretti said Busch can “drive for him anytime” at Indianapolis, to which Busch responded, “privilege!”

There was also some talk of Busch staying in Las Vegas to have meetings with Sam Schmidt of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – FOX Sports noted at the Las Vegas NASCAR weekend that Busch bumped into Schmidt. SPM plans to run a third car.

KV Racing Technology also is likely to run a third car but has not announced it.

Busch finished sixth in 2014 in the first leg of a planned 1,100-mile day at both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600, but engine woes sidelined him at Charlotte.

Incidentally, Kyle Busch raised the idea he might be interested in racing the Indianapolis 500 now that he has won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. But given the available number of seats and whether he’d get permission from Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing to do it, it seems a long shot at the moment.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”