INDIANAPOLIS -- NASCAR star Kurt Busch announced Tuesday that he will try to be the first driver in a decade to "do the double" -- compete in IndyCar's Indianapolis 500 and Sprint Cup's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
Speaking on "Fox & Friends," Busch confirmed he will drive a Dallara-Honda fielded by Andretti Autosport at Indy on May 25 before immediately flying to Charlotte, N.C., to pilot his regular No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in NASCAR's longest race.
"It's a big day for us," Busch said. "The logistical side is a big challenge, and the other challenge was getting two teams with the caliber of Andretti Autosport and Stewart-Haas Racing lined up. Cessna's plane travel company is going to help me get back and forth.
"In this day and age of social media, everyone's going to want to keep up with us. It's Memorial Day weekend, and this isn't just a PR stunt."
On Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, Busch revealed he is closing the Kurt Busch Foundation, rolling it into the Armed Forces Foundation with an initial $100,000 donation. He said that will be a key element of his Indy/Charlotte double.
"I've been working with the Armed Forces Foundation the last three years to build attention toward our troops and their PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] struggles and traumatic brain injuries," Busch said. "I'm doing this for the troops. There's going to be a full-on workout regimen that I'm going to be full tilt with the next three months. It's hard to do 1,100 miles the same day. It's not just the physical side; it's the mental side as well."
Busch, 35, has entertained thoughts of racing an IndyCar for at least a decade. In early 2003, he ran about 20 laps in one of Bobby Rahal's Lola/Cosworth Indy cars at the Sebring International Raceway road course. In May 2013, he had a more serious test, spending a day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Andretti team, reaching a speed of 218 mph.
There was not enough time to secure sponsorship and staffing for Busch to compete in last year's Indy 500, but the driver and team owner Michael Andretti pledged to stay in contact about the possibility of Busch making his IndyCar debut at Indianapolis this year.
"There was legitimate value to doing the rookie orientation and passing the test last year with Andretti Autosport," Busch said. "I was intrigued about doing it, as a student of motorsport."
The plan was complicated when the Andretti team switched from Chevrolet to Honda engines this year, creating a potential conflict due to Busch's Chevrolet ties in NASCAR. After exploring options with Chevrolet-powered IndyCar teams, including Ganassi Racing and Team Penske, Busch decided that he wanted to remain loyal to Andretti and was able to work out a release to drive a Honda car at Indy.
"Sometimes when you go to the dance with your first partner, you want to stay there and stick it out," Busch said. "I'm a loyal guy, and the coaching I received from Michael Andretti during that rookie orientation day was priceless. For him and IMS to invest in that day was a big moment. So I always hoped to do it with Andretti Autosport. NASCAR and IndyCar gave us their blessing. We just needed to work through some of the scheduling issues."