Engine failure at Charlotte ends Busch's 'double' day early

 

The Sports Network

Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Kurt Busch's long day of racing came to an end on a disappointing note when he suffered engine failure in the late going of Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch became the fourth driver and the first in a decade to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the 600-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte on the same day.

Driving an entry for Andretti Autosport, Busch finished sixth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, completing all 200 laps, 500 miles there. His teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay, won the race.

After the conclusion of the Indy 500, Busch quickly departed the racetrack and flew to Concord, arriving at this 1.5-mile track just before 5 p.m. ET. Since Busch missed the drivers' meeting for the 600-mile event, he had to start from the rear of the field in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

Busch fell one lap behind early but got back on the lead lap during a caution just before the halfway point. But Busch later experienced engine trouble. He had completed 271 laps (406.5 miles) before his motor expired and a plume of smoke came from the back of his car, forcing a caution.

"The motor blew. It acted like it swallowed three cylinders all at once," Busch said. "It's kind of a shame. It almost symbolizes how tough it's been this year on the [No. 41] Haas Automation team. We give it our all. The way we were clawing our way up there and got a lucky break with a caution one time I thought we were making good gains on the car."

In all, Busch completed 906.5 of 1,100 miles in his Indy/Charlotte double, the first time he has attempted this feat. Tony Stewart, who is Busch's teammate and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, is the only driver who completed all 1,100 miles on the same day, doing so in 2001.

"To feel the stock car right after driving an Indy car was a day I will never forget," Busch said. "I can't let the mood here with the car dampen what happened up at Indy. That was very special...All in all, I'm very satisfied, and I gave it my all. I trained hard, and I had a lot of people help me out."

Busch won at Martinsville on March 30, but has finished no better than 23rd in the six races since his victory there. He was 28th in the point standings before the start of the Coca-Cola 600.

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