NASCAR CUP SERIES | BRICKYARD 400 (2:30 P.M, NBC)
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INDIANAPOLIS — Last year, Kyle Busch pulled off a rare sweep by winning the Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series poles and races on Brickyard 400 weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It’s the last time Busch celebrated a Cup win and now that he’s back at the historic 2.5-mile oval, he doesn’t want to wait until next September to make a return trip.
He’d like to add a May stop to his already full 2018 schedule and attempt the fabled double bill of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C.
‘‘I had [a deal] done last year, sold it and everything,’’ Busch said when asked about competing in the Indy 500. ‘‘I had a boss [car owner Joe Gibbs] that said no.’’
Busch, the 2015 Cup champion and two-time defending Brickyard champ, hasn’t given up on his dream; he’s just putting it on hold temporarily this weekend as he chases history and tries to end a 12-month victory drought.
He couldn’t have picked a better place to come.
Over the past two years, Busch has been the most dominant stock-car driver at Indy.
He has led 168 of the last 189 laps here, including a record 149 out of 170 last year when he won from the pole. He also won the 2015 and 2016 Xfinity Series races from the pole, giving him four consecutive wins at Indianapolis, where Busch Saturday captured the pole with a fast qualifying run of 187.301 miles per hour.
When the track opened for Xfinity practice Friday, Busch’s car was near the top again — even with restrictor-plate motors. On Saturday, 19-year-old Xfinity rookie William Byron became the youngest driver to win at Indy, holding off runner-up Paul Menard over the last five laps.
Even as Busch talks about winning an unprecedented third straight Brickyard, the thrill of taking a shot in IndyCar’s marquee race — and trying the 1,100-mile Memorial Day weekend double — remains a major attraction for the 32-year-old driver.
‘‘I thought I had a great opportunity to do it [in May], but I’m kind of glad it didn’t come together because [Fernando] Alonso [the two-time Formula One champion] kind of stole the headlines the last time it was done,’’ Busch said. ‘‘It would be fun. It would be a unique opportunity.
“The thing that scares my boss is that I’ve never driven those [Indy] cars.’’
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