INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Kurt Busch is pulling double duty on Sunday.
The NASCAR veteran will try to become just the second driver to complete the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in a single day - a grueling, 1,100-mile slog that will include an airplane ride from Indiana to North Carolina in time for the longer of the two races Sunday evening.
Even though the race wasn't promoted heavily by IndyCar or NASCAR - the races air on different networks and multiple sponsors were involved, clouding the possibilities - Busch's debut brought some buzz to the ''Greatest Spectacle In Racing,'' the crown jewel race of the IndyCar Series and one of the most prestigious in the world.
His fellow NASCAR drivers planned to keep track of the ''The Outlaw'' in Indy, too.
''He's representing the entire sport,'' NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. ''Whether he knows it or not, he's got a lot of people, drivers, crew and just about everyone on the infield pulling for him to do well because he is representing all of us.''
Busch's whirlwind schedule included a rigorous regimen of training and seemingly endless flights between the two racetracks to get himself ready for motorsports' version of climbing Mount Everest. The 35-year-old Busch has trained like a boot camp cadet in Maryland to whip his body into top shape to handle the heat, travel and weariness that will come.
''This is a true test of what your commitment level is on being a racer,'' Busch said. ''There are so many practices back and forth, the travel, the logistics. The fun meter is pegged right now. I'm having a blast doing it. You just have to know it comes with a lot of hard work.''
The Double has been attempted by just three drivers, the last being Robbie Gordon in 2004. Only one, Tony Stewart in 2001, successfully completed the two races, finishing sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He was given oxygen, and then put on a stretcher and taken to the Charlotte Motor Speedway hospital afterward.
Busch will be loaded on carbs for the race: His scheduled Sunday morning breakfast: Eggs, bacon, whole grain toast, water, coffee and 16 ounces of beet root juice. On the flight to North Carolina, Busch will try to eat oatmeal with raisins, a banana, beef jerky, beet root juice and sugar water with electrolytes infused with oxygen.
A big part of the challenge for Busch was getting used to the Indy car.
At 1,500 pounds, the cars are much lighter and have less horsepower than the 3,500-pound stock cars in NASCAR Busch usually drives. IndyCar drivers have to anticipate the next move faster, especially when cars race side-by-side. The contact so familiar among cars in a NASCAR race is out of the question in IndyCar, where the cars are more susceptible to high-flying flips and the open cockpits leave drivers exposed to flying debris.
Any accident can end Busch's bid for history. Then again, so could an odds-defying win for the open-wheel rookie in the Indianapolis 500, where he wrecked a practice car and wound up in a backup.
''If he wins,'' Stewart said, ''I don't care if he gets to the 600 on time or not.''
Busch does. He vowed to arrive at Charlotte on time - even if he packs the celebratory milk to go and doesn't sweat the Borg-Warner Trophy.
And if he wins Indy?
''I'll kiss the trophy,'' he said, then smooched his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, ''and the Borg-Warner, too.''

Recent NASCAR Discussions

NASCAR Odds

No NASCAR odds found

Nascar Top Stories

Thumbnail Toyota/Save Mart 350 Picks Which driver will be able to navigate the road course of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 and pick up a NASCAR victory today?
Thumbnail Drivin' for Linemen 200 Picks The NASCAR Camping World Truck Seriescompetes tonight under the lights for the Drivin’ for Linemen 200. Here are some drivers we like to contend for the win.
Thumbnail Drivin' for Linemen 200 Odds The NASCAR Camping World Truck Seriesdrives under the lights this week for the Drivin’ for Linemen 200. Here’s a look at the odds to win this race.
Thumbnail Toyota/Save Mart 350 Odds The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series goes to its first road course of the season this week when drivers compete in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Thumbnail American Ethanol E15 250 Picks The NASCAR Xfinity Series competes in Iowa later today for the American Ethanol E15 250. Here are some...
More inNASCAR Articles