Michael Andretti would welcome Kurt Busch back for Indy 500
Despite his latest issues involving a domestic violence allegation from former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver Kurt Busch would be welcomed back to Andretti Autosport in the 99th Indianapolis 500, team owner Michael Andretti told FOXSports.com.
Busch and Driscoll are currently involved in a protection order hearing over an alleged domestic violence incident in Busch’s motorhome at Dover Downs International Raceway in Dover, Delaware on Sept. 24, 2014. That hearing is schedule to resume on Jan. 12.
The Dover Police Department investigated the allegations that Busch assaulted Driscoll and that was completed before Christmas. It has been turned over to the Delaware Attorney General’s office for review.
Andretti has told Busch he can drive for his Verizon IndyCar Series team “any time” and stands behind that promise for the 99th Indianapolis 500 on May 24, 2015.
“I am a big supporter of Kurt and if we are able to put a deal together for him to run the Indianapolis 500 I will still run him,” Andretti told FOXSports.com Wednesday night. “He did a great job at the Indy 500 last year. Right now, our focus is on putting a fourth car together but there is still a possibility for something to come together for Indy. I would love to do it with Kurt Busch again. He was a pleasure to work with.”
Busch was the Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after starting 12th and finishing sixth at the 2014 Indy 500 – completing all 200 laps. He was the first true NASCAR driver to win Rookie of the Year since Donnie Allison in 1970, who finished fourth in the 500-Mile Race.
Andretti said he fully intends to field a fourth full-time car in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series but admits there is a possibility he may only have three full-time entries this season. Ryan Hunter-Reay is the defending Indianapolis 500 winner and 2012 IndyCar Series champion. Marco Andretti is back as is second-year IndyCar Series driver Carlos Munoz.
A deal could not be reached to keep James Hinchcliffe on and the popular driver from Toronto left the team after the season and replaced Simon Pagenaud at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, signing a three-year contract with that team. Pagenaud moved on to become the fourth driver at Team Penske joining 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power, former F1 and NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves.
“We have a lot of irons in the fire that could really be exciting,” Andretti said. “I hope we will have something to say in a few weeks.
“We want to have a fourth full-time car. That’s our goal. We are working very hard to get to four cars. My ultimate goal is to run five cars for the full year but, if we don’t, we want to do a one-off at Indy at least and, if we can put something together with Kurt Busch, we would love to do it. He was a real professional and learned a lot to the point where I think he would be a real factor in the race if we put something together. He did a hell of a job last year without experience.
“Now, with one more year of experience, I think Kurt Busch could be a real factor in the Indianapolis 500 in 2015.”
Be sure to catch Bruce Martin’s Honda IndyCar Report on RACEDAY on FOX Sports Radio every Sunday from 6-8 a.m. ET.
VIDEO: Michael Andretti discusses possibility of Kurt Busch running 99th Indy 500