With Kurt Busch signed up to become the fourth driver to attempt to run both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, many IndyCar fans have wondered why their favorite drivers never take a crack at “The Double.”
Only John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon have attempted the 1,100 miles of racing in one day. While all three came from an open-wheel background, they migrated to full-time NASCAR competition. Busch is the first driver to attempt it who does not have any prior experience in Indy cars.
Asked why “The Double” never goes the other way, with IndyCar drivers jetting back and forth between Indianapolis and North Carolina, neither Scott Dixon or Tony Kanaan could figure a valid reason. But both Target/Chip Ganassi Racing drivers found the idea intriguing.
“I haven’t got the invitation,” said Kanaan, the defending Indy 500 winner.
“Have you asked?” wondered Kyle Larson, his NASCAR counterpart in Ganassi’s multi-series organization. Larson, who has a sprint car background and is a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, has made no secret of his desire to one day attempt “The Double.”
Larson believes the participation of drivers such as Dixon, the three-time series champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner, or Kanaan could raise the stakes in NASCAR’s longest race of the year.
“It would make (the Coca-Cola 600) more special if IndyCar drivers would do it,” Larson said.
Dixon doesn’t disagree.
“It would be pretty special to be able to have the opportunity to do it, but there’s very few people who get that opportunity,” Dixon said.
Larson, almost needling his new teammates, had a solution: “Why don’t you ask Chip? There’s lots of cars in the shop. It could happen.”