KANSAS CITY, Kan. – What constitutes a successful Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 for Kurt Busch? Simply completing all 1,100 miles.
"I think finishing both races," Busch said. "That's just a quick honest answer. I'd love to finish in the top half of th field at Indy. I'd love to stay out of trouble all day and just experience it all. But once this week gets further down the road, I think with just the comfort level that I will gain, I'll want more. But right now, it's a matter of just finishing both races. 1,100 miles is tough to do."
While it seems like a simple goal, making all the miles is a task that only one person has accomplished when racing both on the same day. That'd Busch's car owner Tony Stewart.
In 2001, Stewart finished sixth at Indianapolis and third at Charlotte. Robby Gordon has come close twice, completing all the laps in the Indianapolis 500 twice and finishing 11 laps down in 2000 in the Coca-Cola 600 and a lap down in 2002.
What has Stewart told Busch about doing the double?
"He said, you know the IndyCars have less horsepower. They have less pick-up, acceleration, and feel even though the cars weigh 1500 pounds, IndyCars don't accelerate like stock cars do," Busch said. "So you have to look ahead. You have to anticipate. You have to digest what's happening in front of you when guys get side-by-side, how quick you're going to catch them."
Busch said he's gained three pounds through training for both events and recently completed the Indy 500 rookie orientation program. He said he thinks the most important part of his training is upper body strength.
"On the physical side of it, my hands have been very sore after each of the practice sessions just from the death grip on the wheel," Busch said. I need to relax more and just let the car come to me instead of me forcing the car. So, it's just getting comfortable with the dirver controls and knowing where everything is around me."
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