Kurt Busch has a leg up on his Sprint Cup series competitors this weekend – he already has a top-10 finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this season.
Busch earned an impressive sixth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 in May in his first IndyCar Series race. His attempt to complete the “double” that day by also running the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte ended with a blown engine.
But Busch comes back to Indy with fond memories.
“The way that the month of May went was a tremendous feeling and a sense of accomplishment. So it’s a lot of fun to come back to Indianapolis,” Busch said.
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“The atmosphere here at Indianapolis is always special, and now I have a greater appreciation for the speedway. And I hope the respect that I’m going to show it this weekend will help me bounce up on some of my results here at the track.”
Busch appears to be off to a good start. He was sixth fastest in Friday’s lone practice session. He has made 13 starts at the Brickyard but struggled to find success. His best finish was fifth in his first race in 2001.
“I’m looking forward to running around here in a stock car. Driving down into Turn 1 won’t be the same at 220 (mph), it will be around 200,” Busch said. “But Indianapolis always challenges you no matter what car you’re driving and you have to respect the track.”
Goodyear makes tire changes: The Cup series has had tire wear issues in the past at Indy, so Goodyear keeps a close eye on track conditions. The company made some changes for this year’s race based off a test last month.
Cup teams will use a different left-side tire this weekend, the one they used earlier this year at both Dover and Kentucky.
In addition, Goodyear has increased the minimum recommended air pressure in all four tires – up four psi in the left-side tires and up five psi in the right-side ones.
Second-quarter DOTY winner: This year’s Indianapolis 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was named winner of the second-quarter voting for the annual Driver of the Year award. The voting is done by a panel of 17 American broadcasters and journalists.
Hunter-Reay, 33, won the iconic race in his seventh attempt. He also won the Honda Indy Grand Prix in Alabama and finished second in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Dash4Cash Round 3: Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 (4 p.m., ESPN) will be Round 3 of the Nationwide Series’ Dash4Cash bonus program, where series regulars have a chance to win a $100,000 bonus in four summer races.
Brian Scott won the bonus at Chicagoland and he, Chase Elliott, Trevor Bayne and Ty Dillon are eligible for the bonus at Indy. Whoever finishes the highest among those four wins the extra $100,000 and qualifies for Round 4 the following weekend at Iowa.