Kurt Busch focused on NASCAR Chase, still hopeful for 2014 Indianapolis 500

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is still interested in running the Indianapolis 500 next year but has shelved those plans until after the current season concludes.

RIDGEWAY, VA -- Kurt Busch says he has remained in contact with Michael Andretti during the NASCAR Chase for the Championship and hasn't ruled out an attempt to compete in the Indianapolis 500 next year.

But a final decision will have to be made after the current season as Busch is still a contender, currently 47 points (less than a full race) behind championship leader Matt Kenseth with six races remaining.

"We're off to a good start in the Chase but not the best," Busch said on Tuesday during a NASCAR test at Martinsville. "So with that in mind, I've shelved some of my IndyCar thoughts. The reason I had wanted to race at Fontana this year was to get the experience, to do my homework and be better prepared if I was going to race at Indianapolis."

Busch had considered competing at Auto Club Speedway for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar season finale later this month but had missed the deadline to notify Chevrolet that the team would need an additional engine package for the race.

Busch was in a heated battle for a Chase spot and was unable to commit in time to make the race but that hasn't changed his resolve to race at Indianapolis next season.

"So our window closed for running Fontana this October but it's not closing on the chance to go to Indianapolis," Busch added. "But I wanted to be better prepared -- to be more competitive -- if I were to show up at Indy next season."

Busch will have a good source of information on Indianapolis in 2014 as he is set to join Tony Stewart's Stewart-Haas race team in the Sprint Cup Series.

Any attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 for Andretti will also likely involve "doing the double" and see him race in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day. Stewart previously completed the task in both 1999 and 2001 but Busch says he won't approach Stewart on the topic until something has been finalized.

"Again, I haven't done much of my homework," Busch said. "The preparation and key pieces are not yet in place and we're trying to fit all that together. And when I know it will come true, that's when I'll try to focus on our big test, our exam -- at Indianapolis."

Busch tested a car for Andretti in the month of May and successfully completed his Rookie Orientation Program. All that remains for him is to compete in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

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