2014 Indy 500: Kurt Busch escapes injury in practice crash

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NASCAR driver crashed Monday while practicing for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

Kurt Busch escaped injury in a fiery accident during Indianapolis 500 practice Monday.

Running in a pack of cars, Busch lost control of his Dallara-Honda exiting Turn 2. His heavily damaged car spewed debris along the track and came to a rest on the backstretch apron. Busch recorded a speed of 223 mph on the previous lap. He completed a total of 56 laps before the crash Monday.

Busch climbed from the car unaided and into an awaiting ambulance where he was transported to the infield care center. His girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, tweeted that Busch was fine and had been given clearance to drive.

A full-time competitor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Busch is attempting to become the fourth driver to run the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, both on May 25, in the same day.

Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, qualified for his first Indy 500 by posting the 12th-fastest time Sunday. Because his machine is unrepairable, Busch will use the backup car of Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti. Unlike NASCAR, IndyCar allows a driver to switch to a backup and not forfeit their starting position.

"I was starting to feel comfortable," Busch said. "That's when I made the mistake of just letting my guard down or settling into that long run-type mentality whereas with an Indy car you have to be on edge. You have to keep track of where you are at all times and the adjustments in the car. Maybe I just didn't keep up with keeping the car underneath me."

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