As Kurt Busch faces Sunday double, crash at Indy was a valuable lesson

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Thursday, May 22 1550

Kurt Busch often has a unique perspective, but being glad he wrecked his car during practice for the Indianapolis 500—isn’t that taking things a bit too far?

Not when you hear Busch explain it.

“When I made the mistake on Monday, it was because I just started to tell myself, ‘Settle in, get into this 500-mile rhythm, and know that you have 600 miles later on,’” said Busch, who will attempt the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double on Sunday. “It was the setup I had from the previous Thursday, where I was the most comfortable during drafting practice."

“I made some adjustments inside the car, didn’t stay on top of Turns 1 and 2. The south end of the track (Turns 1 and 2) is different than the north end of the track there. The wind angle was the most different, awkward angle that I’ve had during the whole month of May. Turn 2 bit me.”

Before flying to Charlotte for the Coke 600, Busch will start the Indy 500 in a backup car. Under IndyCar rules, however, he won’t lose the 12th-place starting position he earned in last Sunday’s qualifying session.

And in Monday’s crash, Busch learned a valuable lesson.

“I’m glad I experienced it,” he said. “I might sound stupid by saying that I’m glad I wrecked at 220 mph, but if I didn’t put myself in that position, I would have done that on Sunday, possibly 50 laps into the race. That’s how you have to advance through life is to learn from your mistakes.

“It was a mistake that I wholeheartedly put myself in. It’s because I just started to feel comfortable. I just let my guard down a little bit, and that IndyCar jumped up and bit me.”