Saturday, May 4, 2013

What Happens When There Is No IndyCar Practice on a Friday?

News breaks. A lot of news breaks. And news comes from out left field.

Let's start with the bombshell of Kurt Busch testing for Andretti Autosport at Indianapolis on Thursday May 9th. Only two days before the opening day for the 97th Indianapolis 500, Kurt Busch will getting behind the wheel of an open-wheel car for the first time since a test with Team Rahal in 2003 at Sebring. This test comes only a little under two weeks after Kurt Busch tested a V8 SuperCar at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Busch has stated interest in running the Indianapolis 500/Coco-Cola 600 double but as of now the test is only a test.

Late last night, more good news concerning the Indianapolis 500 was revealed by Robin Miller and Marshall Pruett. The 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice is reportedly set to drive for Sam Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, teaming with the Frenchmen Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier and Townsend Bell is also set for Indianapolis with Panther Racing and sponsorship from the DreamWork's movie Turbo, set to be released July 13.

Miller and Pruett also reported 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier and Bryan Clauson were nearing deals for Indianapolis. Jay Howard is also working to find a seat at Indianapolis. Lazier last raced in 2008 at Indianapolis where he finished 17th from a 32nd starting position. In 2009, Lazier failed to qualify for Indianapolis. Clauson made his Indianapolis 500 debut last year and had a good month going until an accident in qualifying ended his chances of qualifying on day one. Clauson would qualify 31st on bump day and finished 30th after a spin in the race. Jay Howard finished 30th in his one and only Indianapolis 500 start back in 2011 and has not raced since Texas 2011. Howard was in the abandoned Las Vegas race.

The Rice and Bell deals would fill the starting grid of thirty-three. Any additional would ensure bumping come May 19th.