INDIANAPOLIS — Kurt Busch’s attempt to complete “the double” just got tougher.
Busch, a Las Vegas native, crashed hard into the outside wall at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday as his No. 26 car went through the second turn during practice for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. Debris flew into the air and one of the tires rolled down the track as the car rolled to a stop on the infield grass.
Busch was checked at the infield medical center and cleared to drive.
He is attempting to become the fourth driver to complete the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. He will start 12th for the 500 if the car can be repaired. If Andretti Autosport uses a different car, Busch would start from the back of the 33-car field.
Busch was running in a pack of cars when he lost control. He had completed 56 laps on Monday, posting a speed of 223.433 mph on the lap before his car got loose and slammed into the wall in Turn 2.
Busch said he was just starting to feel comfortable when he became the second driver to crash since the track opened for practice.
“I made the mistake of just letting my guard down or settling into that long run-type mentality, whereas with an Indy car you have to be on edge,” said Busch, who on Sunday qualified 12th in the 33-car field with a four-lap average of 230.782 mph.
“You have to keep track of where you are at all times and the adjustments in the car. Maybe I just didn’t keep up with keeping the car underneath me.
“If you’re going to have (an incident) it’s better to have it early in the week so there’s time to work on the car, get back on your horse and get out there again. The car will need extensive rebuild (but) we do have Carb Day to shake things down.”
The so-called Carb Day on Friday is the last time the cars will be allowed on the track for practice before the 98th running of the race on Sunday.