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Kurt Busch OK after hard practice crash at Indy (UPDATED)

May 19, 2014, 6:44 PM EDT

UPDATE (6:44 p.m. ET): Andretti Autosport has confirmed that Kurt Busch will drive Marco Andretti’s backup car in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 after his heavy crash in practice this afternoon.

Busch’s No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda can be fixed after its run-in with the Turn 2 wall, but the repairs will not be completed in time for Race Day.

However, Busch will be able to retain his starting position of 12th under Indy 500 rule Number 8.4.3.9 (as conveniently tweeted out by INDYCAR director of communications Mike Kitchel):

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. ET today, the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion lost the back end of the No. 26 car in Turn 2, appeared to try and correct it, and then went hard into the outside wall.

Busch’s car caught on fire as he spun to the inside after impact, but the fire would go out and Busch was able to climb from the car when it came to rest on the backstretch.

Shortly after the crash, his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, tweeted that Busch was fine. INDYCAR later confirmed that he had been checked and released from the infield care center.

At that point, Busch had been 13th-fastest in today’s practice with a lap at 225.623 miles per hour. He had run at 223.433 mph on his previous lap prior to the crash.

“I was just out there in race trim finding different tows and drafting with guys – just started to settle in and get comfortable,” Busch said over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway public address system.

“And it felt like, maybe I let my guard down and didn’t keep track of the adjustments in the car. [I was] just trying to find that rhythm and pace myself as I would on Sunday, and I just got behind on the adjustments in the car.”

Busch added that he was glad that such an incident took place now early in the week.

“The car’s probably gonna have – need – an extensive rebuild,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll get back out today. We do have Carb Day to shake things down, get back on our horse, and give this thing a try again.”

Busch qualified 12th yesterday for the ‘500’, which is the first part of his challenge to run both that race and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.

  1. ditto65 - May 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Go get them, Outlaw!

  2. honestabefroman - May 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Dear Indy Racing, we’ll keep Busch out of your races if you’ll keep Danica Patrick out of ours.

    • midtec2005 - May 19, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      Oh hell no, you keep her!

  3. saintsly - May 19, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Damn………….I was hoping for two wins for Bush on Memorial Day. I hope they get him back out there.

  4. midtec2005 - May 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    You know what they say about Indy… there are two types of drivers, those who have hit the wall and those who are going to hit the wall. Kurt has it out of the way.

    Glad he’s okay!

  5. testover6370 - May 19, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    He gives a good interview. I gained a lot of insights listening to him explain what went wrong and what he was doing with the car.

  6. prov1x - May 19, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    He has zero chance of winning.

    • fave88 - May 19, 2014 at 8:47 PM

      He has more than you do! How’s your stupidity working for ya?????

      • g2-0087f6f563ff60b84af3e1ff88ac0d03 - May 20, 2014 at 1:28 AM

        ignorance is self-rghteous

  7. techmeister1 - May 19, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Wow, same old B.S. comments from arse clowns… Some of you folks need to grow up.

  8. aug99 - May 19, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    IN NASCAR, WHEN A CAR BREAKS LOOSE, YOU HAVE A CHANCE O SAVE IT.
    NOT IN THIS TYPE OF RACING.

    • indycarseries500 - May 19, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Unless your name is Montoya.

    • ttnvrl8 - May 19, 2014 at 11:44 PM

      Just shows how even one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR has to work hard to keep up with an Indy car. I’m glad he’s good to go..

      • crunge4461 - May 20, 2014 at 1:34 AM

        230mph around Indy is never easy for anyone, it is on the edge and high risk. More than any other racing venue or series, racing for the 500 requires tremendous respect for a place that is far more difficult than may seem on the surface and where mistakes often result in a visit to the hospital. Indy is for this reason the true pinnacle of motorsport. It is still just as a untamed as ever.

    • crunge4461 - May 20, 2014 at 1:28 AM

      No, drivers definitely break loose in IndyCars and save em…actually this happens all the time at Indy and all the other tracks they race. The difference is that the saving or crashing of an IndyCar happens much faster than a Nascar. Seriously, did you watch qualifying? there were guys saving loose cars all over the place. IndyCars break away faster and so it is certainly more difficult to save, but drivers do race loose cars and they do save them all the time….you just can’t chase the car all the way up the banking the way they do in Nascar. Actually, I was watching the post-practice press conference this morning and got to hear Juan Pablo talk about exactly this in an off-the record discussion.

      • indycarseries500 - May 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

        In these cars it’s definitely possible on a road course, maybe a little bit on the short ovals, and even less at Fontana or Texas but at Indianapolis and Pocono you never ever turn right.

      • crunge4461 - May 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        Just because the cars don’t slide 500 yards does not mean they don’t drive em loose….Watch qualifications, when they are trimmed out, drivers have loose moments all the time. The moments are just faster and over a shorter distance than a Nascar. Listen to what all the drivers say….the fastest, like Dan Wheldon or Ed Carpenter, are always the ones that can drive the car the loosest. In watching practice and qualifications I saw at least 10 significant saves out there.

  9. gidney - May 20, 2014 at 2:47 AM

    This is the first I’d heard that Busch was trying run in Indy 500! Pardon my ignorance. With his affinity for walls in NASCAR, it seems to me that Indy isn’t really a good match, Good luck Kurt and I’m glad you’re okay.

  10. chad4208 - May 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Nascar doesn’t go 230 there. Plus the squared off rectangular nature of the track makes it worse when it comes to the room they have to work with when the car gets loose, but yea I watched every second of qualifying (except for the 10 minutes that were neither online or on TV) and saw them get loose and save it many times. I guess I had no life this weekend, huh? lol. But It’s common sense that the faster you go, the harder it is to save it and indy is the fastest and most difficult track to save on because of its shape. Double Whammy.

  11. somerandomguy02 - May 23, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    What is wrong with that announcer and his voice? Strange inflections and trails off everything. So weird.

    “Oh, there’s a crash craaaash… craaassshhh… crash on the backstretchhh”

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