Why Kyle Busch's Window for Indy 500, Coca-Cola 600 May be Closed
Kyle Larson is scheduled to attempt the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double in 2024 with McLaren Racing in a joint effort with his NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick.
Kyle Busch says that Larson beat him to the opportunity.
Busch says he had a sponsor lined up, but the opportunity to run the double just never came his way.
Kyle Busch would like to attempt the Memorial Day weekend double, racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, but the Las Vegas native admits his chances of attempting that feat doesn't look good.
“I think (Kyle) Larson got the ride that I was slated to get,” Busch said.
Larson is scheduled to attempt the double in 2024 with McLaren Racing in a joint effort with his NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick. If he is successful, he will be the sixth driver to attempt both races on the same day.
“He’s got that (ride) locked up for two years,” the 38-year-old Busch said. “So, I don’t know if it’ll ever happen. It’s just unfortunate for me wanting to be able to go there and run that race. (I) had a sponsor lined up to do it with and I’ve been told no everywhere. That’s really frustrating, but it is what it is, par for the course.”
Busch said he wouldn’t make any telephone calls or push forward in trying to make it happen.
“If somebody calls me and says that they’re ready to go, and it all lines up right then so be it. We’ll go do it,” Busch said.
John Andretti was the first driver to do the double in 1994. Davy Jones attempted both in 1995 but failed to qualify for stock car racing’s longest race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Robby Gordon did the double four times—1997, 2000, 2002, 2003—and attempted it a fifth time in 2004 but didn’t complete the Indianapolis 500 due to a rain delay. Tony Stewart elected to do the double in 1999 and 2001. On his second attempt, Stewart became the only driver to complete the entire 1,100 miles in the same day. He also produced the best finishes, sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte.
Kurt Busch executed the double in 2014, finishing sixth in the Indy 500 and 40th in the Coca-Cola 600. No one has attempted the double since then.
In 1967, NASCAR Hall of Fame member Cale Yarborough became the first driver to compete in the two races in the same year. That year the race, then known as the World 600, was on Sunday, May 28, and the Indy 500 on Tuesday, May 30. However, it wasn’t completed until Wednesday, May 31, due to a rain delay.
Three years later Donnie Allison won rookie honors in the Indy 500 with a fourth-place finish on Saturday, May 30. Six days earlier on Sunday, May 24, Allison won Charlotte’s 600-mile race. Fifty-three years later Allison’s combined performance remains the best.