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Busch open to F1 - but only after he claims NASCAR crown

Kyle Busch has admitted that he 'wouldn't mind trying' Formula 1 after being linked with the nascent, North Carolina-based USF1 outfit – but he insists he will not make the move until he has first claimed the NASCAR laurels.

The high-profile Joe Gibbs Racing star – who last month made history by triumphing in both the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series at the Auto Club Speedway in California on the same weekend, and last weekend registered his first Sprint Cup victory of 2009 on home turf at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – was mooted by USF1 co-founder Peter Windsor as a potential driver for the new project.

Aside from Busch, other candidates understood to be in the frame are IndyCar Series front-runners Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti, fellow NASCAR ace AJ Allmendinger and A1 Team USA hot-shot Jonathan Summerton. The last American driver to break into the top flight was Scott Speed, who raced for Scuderia Toro Rosso from 2006 until midway through 2007; prior to that, there had been no representative from the other side of the Atlantic since Michael Andretti all the way back in 1993.

It is not the first time Busch's name has been mentioned in connection with F1, either. The hard-charging 23-year old was scheduled for a test outing with Toyota at Motegi late last year, until he was vetoed from going by NASCAR organisers, who insisted he attend the Nationwide Series awards ceremony and banquet in Orlando instead, much to his barely-concealed chagrin.

Even if he admits that he has 'not been talked to' by anyone at USF1, the outspoken Las Vegas native did concede that he would not necessarily be uninterested by the proposal – but he is adamant that, before he makes any potential switch, he first wants to seal the crown in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup division. Busch claimed eight Cup race successes in 2008 and began the season-ending Chase for the Championship in pole position for glory, but faded away to tenth place in the final standings as myriad mechanical woes intervened and his title bid badly faltered.

“I toss the idea around,” he confessed, in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “Open-wheel stuff was never on my radar screen as a kid, but it's something that I wouldn't mind trying.

“I wouldn't mind trying IndyCars and running the Indianapolis 500 or Formula 1, but it's not quite the time for me to do that yet. I want to get it done here first. If I could win a championship here in the next two or three years, then I wouldn't mind going over there and doing that – trying it for a few years and coming back.

“Hopefully I'll get a chance to do it and see if I'm any good at it. I think I'd still be young enough that if I could win a championship by 25, [I could] go run Formula 1 for a few years [and] be back by 28. I still have plenty of time left to run in NASCAR. It's just what I see, but a lot of things would have to work out for that to happen and you'd have to be guaranteed a spot with a team to come back with. That's not always possible.”

Indeed, Busch is under contract at Joe Gibbs until the end of next season – the third year of his three-year deal with the Huntersville-based squad – and has an enviable record in NASCAR circles. Having begun go-karting at the age of just five, he followed his elder brother Kurt into the leading stock car series and made such an impact that, by 18, he was already a Nationwide winner.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kyle Busch celebrates victory in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with brother Kurt   [pic credit: Getty/NASCAR]
Kyle Busch celebrates victory in the Nationwide Series event at Auto Club Speedway   [pic credit: Getty/NASCAR]
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27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
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27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
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27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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JDS - Unregistered

March 05, 2009 3:17 AM

Check Your Facts People. Jeff Gordon makes more money than Kimi or Alonso! He is also part owner. More Money in NASCAR right now for Drivers. A.J Allmindinger makes more Money, not qualifying then He could ever Hope to in Champ Car/ CART.... I do not Believe for a moment that Kyle will ever have the commitment to F1 that Hamy does, or Alonso et all! But Ya, don't We all, want to drive one :) :) :)

JJ - Unregistered

March 02, 2009 3:26 PM

HAHAHA! Funny story. I hope he does get a chance, see what happens when someone without ANY racing experience gets into an F1 car. How hard can it be? Just go fast, like in NASCAR.



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