INDIANAPOLIS – Kurt Busch just made his attempt at completing The Double a lot tougher after crashing during Monday’s practice at Indianapolis.
Busch spun coming out of the second turn on the 2.5-mile oval and slammed hard into the outside wall. It was the biggest crash of the month.
Andretti Autosport said Monday night the car would not be repaired by the Indy 500 and Busch will drive teammate Marco Andretti’s backup car. Busch will still start in the 12th position.
Debris flew into the air, there was a small fire and one of the tires rolled dangerously down the track as the car rolled to a stop on the infield grass.
But the hardest part for Busch was contemplating all the work that must be done now as he becomes the fourth driver to attempt completing both the Indianapolis Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, 1,100 total miles, on the same day. Both races will be held Sunday.
“This created a lot of work for the Andretti guys. I feel bad for that,” he said. “As a rookie, there’s things you learn and put it up on the edge and get away with and then there’s times when it will bite you. It’s just tough.”
Fortunately, Busch was not seriously hurt. He was checked at the infield medical center and immediately cleared to drive.
Busch said he was ready to return to racing Friday when the final 1-hour practice sessions will be held. He said it wasn’t a big deal he has to switch cars because he completed his Indy rookie orientation program earlier this month in a different Andretti car.
“The ability of the Andretti Autosport team to field the car, it doesn’t matter how it starts, or where it comes from, they’ve been very accurate with everything,” he said by phone. “I’ll get over it quick. I’ve wrecked cars before.”
Of the accident, he said, “I was starting to feel comfortable. That’s when I made the mistake of just letting my guard down or settling into that long run-type mentality whereas with an Indy car you have to be on edge. You have to keep track of where you are at all times.”