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Kurt Busch eager to try 'The Double' again

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 26, 2014 at 2:56 am •  Published: May 26, 2014
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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — While Kurt Busch's bid to complete "The Double" may have failed, it won't stop the former Sprint Cup champion from making another run at history.

"I would love to do it again," Busch said Sunday night.

Busch was in an upbeat mood as he stood next to his broken down, still simmering No. 41 Chevy outside of his hauler. An engine failure on lap 271 of the 400-lap race ended Busch's night early at the Coca-Cola 600.

Busch completed more than 906 miles in his quest to join Tony Stewart as the only other driver to complete Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day.

"I was hoping to do 1,100 miles today," Busch said. "But I can't let what happened here dampen the mood on what happened up in Indianapolis."

Busch finished sixth in his first Indianapolis 500, an impressive accomplishment.

But his Sprint Cup troubles this year continued to haunt him. He entered the night 28th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings and Sunday was the fifth race he didn't finish.

"We just had a monkey on our back down here in running NASCAR this year," Busch said. "That kind of motor failure symbolizes some of the struggles we've had."

Still, he refused to let it bring him down.

"All in all, I'm very satisfied," Busch said. "I gave it my all. I trained very hard. I had a lot of people helping out. Thanks to Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, Michael Andretti and this whole group. Everyone worked hard on both sides. ... I'm still really in awe of how well we ran at Indy,"

Busch said his feet and hands were sore.

But other than that he felt well and was planning to get a good night's sleep and savor what was a long, but fun day.

"Today is a memory I'll have forever," Busch said. "Overall, I can stand here with a smile knowing I gave it my all for six months trying to get to this point."

The NASCAR veteran was trying to become the second driver to complete the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in a single day — a grueling, 1,100-mile slog that included an airplane ride from Indiana to North Carolina.

He successfully completed the Indianapolis 500 earlier Sunday, then darted to the second race. The frenetic schedule didn't faze him. He even hinted it might not be his only shot at the back-to-back races.

"The Double" has been attempted by just three drivers, the last being Robby Gordon in 2004. Only Stewart, in 2001, successfully completed the two races, finishing sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The first leg of Busch's racing doubleheader was a total smash, as the NASCAR champion-turned-Indy rookie made it look easy after starting 12th at the Brickyard.

Busch stepped out of the IndyCar, raised his arms in triumph, and hugged his girlfriend. His crew members squeezed their way toward him down the slender Indianapolis Motor Speedway pit road for fist bumps and well wishes. His face red, throat dry, and hair slicked in sweat, Busch tossed his helmet in the No. 26.

"It was an incredible journey to sniff the lead of the Indy 500," Busch said.

With 500 miles down and 600 ahead, he was still dressed in his firesuit when he took a seat in the back of an Indiana state trooper's car and pulled out of the garage at 3:30 p.m.

Once in the air on the Cessna Citation X that took him to Concord Regional Airport, his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, tweeted a photo of Busch and her 9-year-old son, Houston, asleep on the plane. Busch landed at about 4:50 p.m., after a 47-minute ride.

Busch changed into his NASCAR firesuit on the trip, and had his blood pressure checked and intravenous fluids administered by the doctor and nurse aboard the Cessna. Before boarding the helicopter that took him to Charlotte Motor Speedway, he drank 12 ounces of water and 20 ounces of other liquids — including beet juice. He ate a high-potassium and high-protein bar, a box of raisins and a little beef jerky.

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