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Kurt Busch qualifies 12th for Indianapolis 500

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Updated: 5/21/2014 12:40 pm

Indianapolis, IN ( - Kurt Busch will start on the outside of row 4 in the May 25 Indianapolis 500, as he will attempt to become the first driver in a decade to do the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double on the same day.

Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion, qualified 12th for the 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a four-lap average speed of 230.782 mph. The driver of the No. 26 car for Andretti Autosport will share the fourth starting row with Juan Pablo Montoya from Team Penske and Scott Dixon from Chip Ganassi Racing.

Montoya, a former NASCAR competitor, qualified 10th at 231.007 mph, and Dixon, the defending IndyCar Series champion, was 11th 230.928 mph.

"I'm very happy with a fourth-row starting position," Busch said. "It's amazing when you're going up against guys like Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon for that fourth row. Good company. I've got a great team at Andretti. They're helping me out. Now we need to get back into race mode."

Busch will try to become the fourth driver to compete in the Indy 500, which is held in the afternoon, and then head to Charlotte Motor Speedway to run in the 600-mile Sprint Cup race there, scheduled to start in the evening.

John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon are those drivers who have raced at Indianapolis and Charlotte on the same day. Gordon was the last one to accomplish the feat in 2004.

On Saturday, Busch finished 10th in day 1 of qualifying for the Indy 500, coming up short of being in the "Fast Nine" shootout for the pole position. He departed Indianapolis mid-afternoon and flew to Charlotte, arriving there in plenty of time to qualify for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Busch started 18th and finished 11th in that event.

Busch is in his first season as driver of the No. 41 Sprint Cup car for Stewart-Haas Racing, which is co-owned by Stewart.

"It's been amazing, and it's been a great ride," Busch said. "A lot of hard work from both the Andretti Autosport team and the Stewart-Haas Racing guys, who allowed me to miss practice and jump in cold turkey for the all-star race last night.

"Two days of qualifying at Indy can really put a lot of stress on the body. I'm not physically worn out by any means, but I am ready for a nap, just to keep recharged and keep things going."

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