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NASCAR driver Kurt Busch sits in an Andretti Autosport Indycar as crewmen attend to it on pit lane during a testing session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis on Thursday.
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch drives down the front straight away in an Andretti Autosport Indycar during a testing session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis on Thursday.
Friday, May 10, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - Kurt Busch wants to race an IndyCar at Indianapolis.
Just not now.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion kept Ryan Hunter-Reay's primary car out of trouble Thursday, topping 218 mph on one of the world's most prestigious tracks. He became the first driver to pass this year's rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, likely creating a rumor-filled month of May.
"I really couldn't do it this year because of the stamina," Busch said. "My hands were tense and firm and that was only after 10 laps. Michael (Andretti) wants to do it, but they've already got five cars committed this year, so I think the proper thing would be to get some experience with this car at another track."
Time is not something Busch can spare right now.
His whirlwind schedule over the past week has taken him to Indy for NASCAR's tire test, to Talladega where he ended the race by going airborne and landing on Ryan Newman's car and now off to Darlington Raceway, where Busch will try to pick up an elusive win that he barely missed out on 10 years ago.
In between all the Sprint Cup obligations, Busch still accepted Andretti's personal offer to try running an IndyCar on the series' best-known track. He flew back to town Wednesday with his father, got some advice from former Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr., the 2006 Indy winner, and restarted the talk about attempting "the double" -- competing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
No. 43 relevant again
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It's been 30 years since the No. 43 car put together more than a handful of consecutive top-10 finishes.
Aric Almirola has a chance this weekend at Darlington Raceway to end the drought.
Almirola goes into Saturday night's race with four consecutive top-10 finishes. Should he knock down another one at Darlington, it would be the most consecutive top-10 finishes for the Petty-owned No. 43 since Richard Petty had seven in a row in 1983.
"We sure are on a roll lately," said Almirola, who began this streak with a seventh-place finish at Texas last month. He then added a pair of eighth-place finishes at Kansas and Richmond.
Now Almirola is a surprising seventh in the Sprint Cup points standings - the highest any Richard Petty Motorsports team has ranked after 10 races.
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