Kurt Busch will not be making an appearance in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year after all, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion confirmed this week.

There had been tentative plans for Busch to make his d?but in the open wheel series at next month's season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California with the Andretti Autosport team. The driver and team had carried out a successful test together at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May earlier this year which led to speculation that Busch might consider entering the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

As part of that preparation, there had been initial plans for Busch to enter next month's race at Fontana to give him the necessary IndyCar experience before embarking on an Indy 500 campaign. The October 19 event is the last IndyCar race scheduled to be held on an oval course until the start of the 'Month of May' build-up at the iconic superspeedway.

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"I was just hoping to have more of my homework done, more experience and more of an education, which would have meant to race Fontana this year and to be better prepared for Indianapolis next year," Busch explained.

The team would have needed to obtain an additional engine from Chevrolet to allow Busch to participate alongside the team's regular line-up of James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, EJ Viso and current IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, but the deadline for agreeing the extra unit in time for Fontana has now passed.

Part of the reason why the IndyCar outing is now not possible is that Busch has just made the 2013 Sprint Cup Chase with Furniture Row Racing, something that had appeared pure fantasy back at the start of the season as no driver from a single-car team has ever before managed to qualify for the Chase since the ten-race, 12-driver championship play-off format began in 2004.

"It's an amazing feeling to go up against these big teams and to put a little lone Chevrolet from Colorado into the Chase against the big boys," said Busch after his historic achievement in the sport last weekend.

"This feels incredible," he added, having both started and finished in second place at Richmond International Raceway last weekend to secure his Chase berth. "The way that we worked together as a team - it's amazing that we have come this far and put ourselves in this position. We came close [at Richmond], but haven't won a race yet this year."

Having made the Chase for the seventh time in his Cup career albeit this time very much against the odds and all expectations, Busch certainly doesn't want to squander the opportunity. When he had first considered racing an IndyCar at Fontana he hadn't been expected to still be in title contention by October, and now that he is he will be focussing everything on that.

"It was something that was very important in the month of May this year," he admitted on Thursday during the week-long round of media appearances for all the Chase drivers. "It's not as important with it being the middle of September right now!"

Busch's successful campaign to make the Chase in 2013 has seen him rejuvenate his career which was at a low ebb after he split from Penske Racing at the end of 2011 "by mutual agreement" after falling out with the team and with owner Roger Penske. It led to Busch being confirmed last month as a surprise fourth driver addition to the Stewart-Haas Racing team which should put him back into serious Cup title contention in 2014.

Whether this means Busch will have to drop his plans for any future Indy 500 run, which might be a distraction to him given that it runs on the same day as the important Coca Cola 600 Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, remains to be seen. On the plus side, SHR boasts the most pro-IndyCar line-up in NASCAR given the presence of former series star Danica Patrick alongside 1997 Indy Racing League series champion and past Indy 500 rookie of the year Tony Stewart in the line-up.

Thanks to modern air travel, doing "the double" is just about logistically possible in terms of the driver getting to where he needs to be, assuming that the races don't overrun. The limiting factor is more in terms of the drivers' own endurance considering both events are the longest on their respective series' calendars.

"A driver can race here at Indianapolis, give a full 500 miles - that needs to be the end of his day," was Busch's own view back in May when he undertook his first test run at IMS. "To run 600 miles after that you've got to pace yourself. I honestly think I wouldn't be able to do it this year just with stamina, just with not giving my all for my Furniture Row team in Charlotte."

The double has been done before: John Andretti was the first to try it 1994, and Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have both achieved it as well. Stewart was even offered an Indy race seat by Roger Penske if he'd wanted to give it another go in 2013, and a regular annual staple in the media are the inevitable stories about Danica Patrick and will-she or won't-she return to the race that made her name in motorsports.

"If my name is mentioned with guys like Tony Stewart and John Andretti and Robby Gordon, it isn't a big feather in the cap but it's something to try to go and achieve," said Busch in May. "It's something to try to just stretch yourself to the limits in the world of motorsport, and you have to do it with good teams. You just can't expect to go out there and find success right away when your whole life has been spent in a stock car.

"To crawl, then walk, and then walk and then run, I think the proper thing is to go out and experience this car at another oval track and get into a race and experience what the buffeting is and the movement of the car when all the downforce changes," he had added, which is what had led to speculation that he would race in 2013 at a track like Pocono Raceway or Auto Club Speedway, both of which Busch is familiar with from his NASCAR racing. "I need to get more comfortable in the IndyCar because on a day like today, I'm white knuckle, my hands were tense and firm - and that was only after ten laps!"

Without that initial experience in an IndyCar race, and with his return to top-flight Cup team in 2014 now confirmed, it seems that the odds on seeing Kurt Busch at Indianapolis next May are very much reduced. But then given that Busch has just shattered the odds in making the 2013 Chase, he's clearly not a man that you should ever bet against from doing the unexpected or seemingly impossible - another way in which he's like his new team mate and car owner Tony Stewart.