CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kurt Busch put his chances at "70 percent" at running the Indianapolis 500 this year because of recent developments that have pushed a potential program along.
"It's actually grabbed better traction the last couple of weeks, it's gotten me more excited," Busch said Monday. "The teams that are showing interest, the sponsors and the opportunity is there. I think we've even rounded up some partners that will make transportation better."
Busch has the blessing of Stewart-Haas Racing co-owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart, and Haas said he'd be interested in being involved.
So what's standing in the way?
Busch said he is waiting to see what NASCAR will announce this week regarding qualifying procedures and the new format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He said missing time in his new Sprint Cup ride, which Haas is funding out of pocket, is not an option.
He also must figure out his reasons for wanting to run both the Indy 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Only John Andretti, Stewart and Robby Gordon have attempted the 1,100-mile "double," and no driver has tried it since Gordon in 2004.
"I need to decide if, for me, is it a business decision or is it just the sheer fun of challenging myself to do something?" Busch said. "I'm about ready to just draw a line through the business side of it and say, 'Let's just go have some fun.' But to have Gene's approval and Tony's approval — I want to do this — and I need to change several things about my workout regimen to get ready for May and start now."