NASCAR Sprint Cup racer Kurt Busch is to test an Andretti Autosport IndyCar at Indianapolis next Thursday, and says he is open to attempting the Indy 500 in the future.
Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, will receive instruction from Andretti team boss and ex-IndyCar racer and CART champion Michael Andretti.
"I have always enjoyed racing at Indianapolis, and when IMS and Michael presented me with the opportunity to test an IndyCar prior to opening day of practice of the Indianapolis 500, I jumped at it," Busch said. "The Indianapolis 500 is an iconic event and having an opportunity to go through the testing process with Michael and Andretti Autosport, the defending series champions and two-time winners of the race, is pretty cool."
Andretti added: "I respect his talent and am happy to give him the opportunity to experience the raw speed of an IndyCar. It's a unique feel and perspective – it will be totally different than what he is used to driving each week on the Cup circuit."
Busch played down prospects for him making an Indy 500 bid, although he didn't rule it out. Although Busch is committed to racing in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, in previous years Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and John Andretti have all competed in the Indy 500 and Charlotte Cup race on the same day.
"Let's see how the test goes, and then I can look at the opportunities that could be beyond this coming Thursday," said Busch. "Running the Indianapolis 500 would certainly be a highlight, and doing another 600 miles in a Cup car on the same day would make for a special weekend."
Andretti Autosport already has five Indy 500 entries lined up, with its Indy Lights driver Carlos Munoz stepping up to join its regular IndyCar squad of Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti and EJ Viso.
Busch tested a Champ Car test (LEFT) with Bobby Rahal's team at the start of 2003, which was organized by Ford.