INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle Busch said he had a deal in place to run in this year’s Indianapolis 500 before he was denied by “a boss that said no.’’
“I had it done … sold and everything, ready to go and I’ve got a boss that said no,’’ Busch said Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, referencing Cup car owner Joe Gibbs.
“I thought I had a great opportunity,” Busch said. “I’m kind glad it didn’t come together because (Fernando) Alonso kind of stole the headlines. There may be more in the future of guys coming over to run that race. I may have to split the limelight, if you will, with somebody else that wants to do that race.’’
Alonso skipped Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix to compete in this year’s Indianapolis 500. Alonso won rookie of the year honors for the 500.
Busch still would like to run the race.
“It would be a unique opportunity,’’ he said.“I think the biggest thing that scares my boss is that I’ve never driven those cars. A Cup car, or an Xfinity car, a truck or something like that, I know what to feel. When something bad starts to happen, I can straighten it out, or normally I can try to fix it. So I think that’s probably the biggest fear is just not knowing what those cars do when you get in a bad situation.’’
The only drivers to run in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day are: John Andretti (1994), Tony Stewart (1999, 2001 ), Robby Gordon (2000 and 2002-04) and Kurt Busch (2014).
Kurt Busch was selected rookie of the year for the 2014 race.
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The NASCAR community paid tribute to World of Outlaws driver Jason Johnson, who died after a sprint car crash Saturday night at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Raceway.
Johnson crashed after a restart racing for the lead. Witnesses said that Johnson’s car flipped and went through billboards outside Turn 3, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Johnson won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals. He finished sixth in the points last year in the World of Outlaws.
There has been a different winner in each of the last nine Cup races at Sonoma Raceway, site of today’s Cup race. Those nine winners have been Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick.
Will there be a 10th different winner at the road course?
Here is all the information for today’s race.
(All times are Eastern)
START: Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley will give the command to start engines at 3:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 110 laps (218.9 miles) around the 1.99-mile road course.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 25. Stage 2 ends on Lap 50.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:20 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Broadway Under The Stars in Sonoma Valley, Transcendence’s Meggie Cansler will perform the anthem at 2:55 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 80 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST TIME: Kevin Harvick led the final 22 laps to win last year’s race. Clint Bowyer placed second. Brad Keselowski finished third.
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for full qualification results.
Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.
Martin Truex Jr. He probably had the best car at Sonoma last year; his team closes the deal this season.
Kevin Harvick. No one can stop him on an oval or a road course.
William Byron pulls off a shocking win in his first Cup race at Sonoma.
Jamie McMurray seesaws through the field, but gets track position in the closing laps.
Justin Haley survived two late-race restarts to win his first career Camping World Truck Series race in the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.
His victory was aided by a push into turn one by rookie Todd Gilliland, who finished second.
Johnny Sauter finished third to score his 10th top-five finish in 10 races.
Myatt Snider and Zane Smith rounded out the top five. Smith was making his first career Truck start.
Click here for complete results.
Johnny Sauter maintained his points lead with a third-place finish, extending the advantage to 73 points over Noah Gragson, who finished 10th.
Brett Moffitt is third in the standings and has two wins to his credit.
Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen round out the top five
Hayley climbed from eighth to sixth in the standings with his win, but more importantly that victory gets him a berth into the playoffs.
Click here for the complete points standings.