Tuesday, 28 January 2020

NASCAR: Will Kurt Busch compete in the 2020 Indianapolis 500? – Beyond the Flag

NASCAR: Will Kurt Busch compete in the 2020 Indianapolis 500? – Beyond the Flag
16 Sep

Will NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch compete in the crown jewel of the IndyCar schedule, the Indianapolis 500, for the second time in 2020?

Of the four who have ever done so, NASCAR‘s Kurt Busch is the most recent driver to attempt the Memorial Day Double. He made his Indianapolis 500 debut in the 98th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in 2014 before flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in his regularly scheduled Coca-Cola 600.

Ever since then, there have been rumors that he may return to the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) Brickyard in Speedway, Indiana on Memorial Day Sunday to compete in the crown jewel of the IndyCar schedule for a second time.

In the 2014 Cup Series season, he drove for Stewart-Haas Racing, co-owned by Tony Stewart, one of the other three drivers to attempt the Memorial Day Double. He landed a ride with Andretti Autosport for the Indy 500 and drove to an impressive sixth place, netting him Rookie of the Year honors ahead of 19-year-old Sage Karam in ninth.

Now the 41-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native drives for Chip Ganassi Racing, one of the two teams that compete in both NASCAR and IndyCar.

Could 2020 be the year in which he attempts the Memorial Day Double again?

Chip Ganassi Racing downsized from a four-car team to a two-car team ahead of the 2018 IndyCar season, and at no point have they fielded three cars in an IndyCar race since then. Their current lineup consists of five-time champion Scott Dixon and rookie Felix Rosenqvist, but they haven’t ruled out fielding an additional Indy 500 entry altogether.

And now the Busch to Indy rumors may actually carry some backing, although nothing has been confirmed.

Busch does not have a contract to continue driving the #1 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2020 Cup Series season, but Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reported that Busch and sponsor Monster Energy are close to reaching an agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing to keep the 2004 champion with the team next year.

What Stern also reported is that Monster Energy, which will no longer be the title sponsor of the Cup Series next year because the series is set to roll out a new sponsorship model, is set to invest nearly twice as much in Busch and Chip Ganassi Racing next year.

It just so happens that three weeks ago, right before this development was revealed, Monster Energy made their debut as the primary sponsor of an IndyCar.

Who also posted about this?

Rosenqvist drove his #10 Monster Energy-sponsored Honda to an 11th place finish in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on Saturday, August 24.

Could that be a sign of things to come for IndyCar, Monster Energy and Busch?

Team owner Chip Ganassi has stated that he is game to make it happen.

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Will Kurt Busch be back behind the wheel of an open-wheel car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for next year’s Indianapolis 500 in an attempt to become the only driver other than Tony Stewart to compete all 1,100 miles of the Memorial Day Double? 2020 seems like the year with best chance yet, post-2014, of course, for such a scenario to come to fruition.

Source: https://beyondtheflag.com/2019/09/14/nascar-will-kurt-busch-compete-2020-indianapolis-500/


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