Busch's path to the Indy 500 will begin in earnest after the May 10 Sprint Cup race at Kansas. He's expected to spend a week testing Andretti's Honda, and make at least 10 trips between Indy and Charlotte as he participates in NASCAR's All-Star race and attempts to qualify for the 500, race in the 500 and the 600.
He said he's worked out several scheduling issues with NASCAR and has permission from Charlotte Motor Speedway to helicopter onto the front stretch of the track to speed up his arrival for the second race. But if he wins in Indy, he knows he'll be late to Charlotte — if he makes it all.
However, NASCAR's new Chase for the Sprint Cup championship format means all Busch has to do this year is win a race to earn a spot in the 16-driver Chase, and he can afford to miss the start of the 600 and not jeopardize his regular job.
"As long as we attempt to qualify for every race, we are eligible for the Chase under the new rules," Busch said. "It's like you are in New York City, on Broadway, and you look up at all the bright lights — they are clearly pointing to this being the right time to do this. The green light is on."