Kyle Busch, McLaren in ‘serious conversation’ about fielding 2023 Indy 500 entry, per report

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McLaren is said to be in “serious conversation” about fielding a fourth car to be driven by NASCAR Cup Series star Kyle Busch in next year’s Indianapolis 500, according to the Associated Press. Reported talks of an Indy 500 ride for Busch come as Arrow McLaren SP expands for the 2023 IndyCar season, with the hire of former Indy 500 champion Alexander Rossi as driver as well as IndyCar industry veteran Brian Barnhart.

Busch, who has long expressed interest in racing the Indianapolis 500, confirmed to reporters last week that he now has permission to race a Chevrolet-backed entry at Indianapolis with his move to Richard Childress Racing in 2023. Busch had previously not been permitted to seek an Indy 500 ride while racing for Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing.

“I made sure it was in the deal. I can go run it if I want to run it,” Busch told reporters at the NASCAR Hall of Fame last Tuesday. “By all means, any IndyCar teams that are Chevrolet, call me up. I can do it.”

Busch’s statement that he was available to run the Indianapolis 500 caught the attention of Sam Schmidt, a fellow Las Vegas native and one of the principal figures at Arrow McLaren SP. Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Schmidt stated last week that he would “love” to figure out a way to get Busch in an Arrow McLaren car.

We saw how good his brother did, and I think it would be fantastic for IndyCar,” Schmidt said, referencing Kurt Busch’s 2014 Indianapolis 500 run. “We haven’t had a double for a while.”

Should an Indy 500 attempt materialize, Busch would become the latest NASCAR driver to attempt the double — racing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Cup Seres’ Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Drivers who have previously done the double include John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, and most recently Kurt Busch, who finished sixth and earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2014 in Indianapolis.

Interestingly, Busch’s new car owner for 2023 has already been involved in a previous double. In 2002, Childress served as the race strategist for Robby Gordon, who finished eighth in the Indy 500 before flying to Charlotte and finishing 16th in the Coca-Cola 600.

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