Whatever traits he was once
famous for, Kurt Busch was
one of this year’s Indy 500
talking points for (almost) all
the right reasons.
As reported in
the previous issue of
RACER, the 2004
was fast from the
word go in his
entry, and even a
shunt during final practice
before Carb Day appeared not
to dent his confidence.
Switching to teammate Marco
Andretti’s spare car, Busch
drove fast and smart all race,
ending with a fine sixth place
and Rookie of the
Year honors (LEFT).
his race engineer,
goal was to ensure
Kurt had enough
fun and satisfaction
to want to do it again. In the
garage and on track, he seemed
really happy and very team-
oriented, which was great.”
The 98th running of the
Indianapolis 500 earned a
3. 9 TV rating from Nielsen, an
IMPRESSIVE IN EVERY SENSE
improvement of 0.1 over last
year’s race. This slight boost
could have been attributable
to the presence of Kurt Busch,
but also the fact that the local
TV tape-delayed broadcast –
the race is blacked out locally
to encourage more people to
attend – didn’t have to go up
against the Indiana Pacers’ NBA
Eastern Conference Finals game.
GLASS HALF FULL
Kurt Busch wins fans trackside and in the media
TV ratings boost, but how much does it mean?
As part of the media tour after his Indy 500 win,
Ryan Hunter-Reay (and the Borg-Warner Trophy)
appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.
RHR raced (and won) in the IndyCar Series for
the Rahal Letterman team back in 2007-’08.
Even at pit stops, Busch was
error-free, like he’d been racing
IndyCars all his life.
INDY’S CLOSEST FINISHES
Very nearly a record breaker but not quite. It’s also worth
noting how close three-time Indy winner Helio Castroneves
has been to being all alone in a five-time winner’s club…
Recently, Indy 500s have finished like this…
but under caution. This year’s barn burner
means the cars are doing 225mph here as
Hunter-Reay raises his arm in triumph.
0.160sec Gordon Johncock over Rick Mears 1982
0.299sec Gil de Ferran over Helio Castroneves 2003
0.043sec 1992 Al Unser Jr. over Scott Goodyear
0.060sec 2014 Ryan Hunter-Reay over Helio Castroneves
0.063sec 2006 Sam Hornish Jr. over Marco Andretti
It’s still the biggest race in the
world, and race day attendance
saw a slight increase over 2013.