Blown motor sidelines Kurt Busch's double
Kurt Busch’s dream of being only the second driver to ever complete both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day came to an abrupt end 274 laps into the 600 on Sunday evening.
|Busch arrived in Charlotte in time for the 600 but his race was short-lived|
|Getty Images for NASCAR|
Busch completed 906 miles of racing before the motor on his Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet let go on the backstretch.
“The motor blew,” Busch told Fox Sports’ Jeff Hammond. “It acted like it swallowed three cylinders all at once, so it was real slow. It’s kind of a shame. It almost symbolizes how tough it’s been on the Haas Automation team. We gave it our all and were clawing our way back up.
"To feel the stock car right after driving an Indy car was a day I’ll never forget. And I can’t let the mood here with the car dampen with what happened up in Indy today. It was very special."
Busch’s team co-owner, Tony Stewart, remains the only driver to complete both ends of the so-called “Double,” doing so in 2001.
"The Stewart-Haas guys gave me a good car tonight and the motor just went. Sometimes, that just happens."
While upset at falling short of achieving his goal, Busch took the motor failure in stride.
"All-in-all, I’m satisfied,” he said. “I gave it my all."
WE KNOW YOU DIDN'T WANT THIS DAY TO END LIKE THIS. WHAT HAPPENED?
"The motor blew. It acted like it swallowed three cylinders all at once, so it was real slow. It's kind of a shame. It almost symbolizes how tough it's been on the Haas Automation team. We give it our all, and the way we were clawing our way up there and got a lucky break with the caution one time… I thought we were making good gains on the car. It was great to race in traffic and to feel the stock car right after driving an IndyCar was a day I'll never forget. I can't let the mood here with the car dampen what happened up in Indy today. That was very special and it takes a big team; it takes a team everywhere. Andretti Autosport gave me a top-five car to try to win the Indy 500 with and Stewart-Haas guys gave me a good car today and the motor just went. Sometimes that happens. All in all, I'm very satisfied. 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."
TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY AND WHAT WENT WRONG HERE.
"It was really a lot of fun. A lot of preparation, a lot of hard work and a lot of team involvement on the Andretti side and the Stewart-Haas side. It was a dream come true to run at Indy and post a really good finish there. I can't let what happened down here dampen the mood. I'm still really in awe of how well we ran at Indy. Those Andretti guys gave me a good car to do it with. Tonight, we were clawing our way up. We got a lucky break with one of the yellows. It was nice to run in the packs and side-by-side and feel that NASCAR on the same day as an IndyCar. The motor just expired. It's a tough break. It takes a team if you're going to do 1,100 miles. It's not just one individual. We came up just short. It really means a lot."
“Our Cup car was running okay. We clawed our way up there and caught a lucky break with one of the yellows. We worked on the car and I thought we were actually you know, right in the mix. Those top 15 guys seemed to separate themselves. We were going to start cracking on the top ten if we could get one more adjustment done to the car. And then we had a problem on pit road. A car came at me perpendicular on pit road and it broke the left rear shock. And so we were hanging on. We were going to muscle it out. And then it’s like the car just swallowed three cylinders all at once. So, the engine let go. Those things happen in motorsports.
“It was a good battle though. I was hoping to do 1100 miles today. I can’t let what happened here dampen the mood on what happened up in Indianapolis. But it’s not just one individual. It takes a team. Andretti Autosport guys put me in a good car. Stewart-Haas gives me a great car every week. We just had a monkey on our back down here in running NASCAR this year. That kind of motor failure symbolizes some of the struggles we’ve had.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE TODAY?
“Today is a memory I’ll have forever. It was a challenge I put forth for myself. I enjoyed it. I soaked it all in up North. I loved racing up in Indy in front of all the Indiana natives and the Hoosiers. They love their speedway up there. That speedway loves them. That’s what I really saw out of that track today. There was a grand stage to stand on and represent NASCAR. We brought her home in sixth place. I didn’t think I had anything for those top five guys. They were racing hard. And those were the top five in that series. They’re strong. They’re tough.
“The mood down here we’re not going to let it dampen things. There is still wind in our sails and we’ll still sail on off into the sunset after today.”
HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
“I’m feeling good, actually. They way that this race was coming to us, the cooler conditions tonight; you know, my hands are a little sore. My feet are a little sore just from working it. And overall, I can stand here with a smile knowing I gave it my all for six months trying to get to this point.”
WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
“I’d love to do it again. And at the same time, you’ve got to do it with quality teams. The teams really can make the big difference in all of this. And I have to thank Andretti and I have to thank Stewart-Haas.”