Kurt Busch: Indy 500 Qualifying Changes Could Hurt Him
It was confirmed earlier this week that NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is going to pull off the Indy/Coke double. This means that he will run the Indianapolis 500 during the day and then the Coca Cola 600 that night. Busch has already come under some media scrutiny from those who think that he doesn’t stand a chance at contending for a win at Indy. Thanks to a rule change that was announced today, his weekend just became a bit more difficult.
It was announced earlier today that qualifying for the Indy 500 will take place over a two-day period. The second day of qualifying will determine who wins the pole after they have a “Fast Nine” shootout.
Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will begin on May 17, when the fastest 33 cars are locked into the field. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and the fastest nine drivers will move into the shootout. On Sunday, the previous day’s times will be erased and entries 10 through 33 will complete another four-lap qualifying attempt to determine their starting position.
The fastest nine drivers from Saturday will then make one four-lap attempt to determine the prestigious pole winner and starting front row.
For Busch, this raises an issue because he now he needs to be back in Indianapolis on the second day of qualifying. Busch is scheduled to run in the NASCAR All-Star race on Saturday night. He will now have to fly to Charlotte for the All-Star Race and then back to Indianapolis for a second day of qualifying.
Although this change shouldn’t directly impact how he runs the race, it could impact how he qualifies or how he does in the All-Star event. Some are already calling for Busch to skip the NASCAR race since it’s not a point race. Those people are correct in the fact that it’s not a point race, but it is a chance to win $1 million.
When Busch runs both races, he will be the first one to do it in the last 10 years. It would be simply epic if he could pull off a win in both.