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.

The 2005 NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year was a multiple Cup winner only two years later, and established himself firmly as a championship contender last season. He acknowledges, though, that his open-wheel exploits have been few and far between.

"The only open-wheel experience, if you call it that, that I have is I've raced Dwarf cars, I've raced Legends cars [and] I've tooled around in an SCRA Sprint car at the Vegas track one time," he reflected. "It was just like a little test-thing kind of exhibition deal for when those guys were coming back to town when I was 14. IMCA Modifieds are kind of open-wheel, too. [I've done] nothing like IndyCars or the Derek Daly School or anything.

"It's just trying other things - doing something different. You kind of probably get dull sometimes and that might be why you see guys make moves from their teams. Granted, Jeff [Gordon] has been at Hendrick forever and [Matt] Kenseth and [Greg] Biffle have been at Roush forever.

"It's just a different form of racing; it's a different auto sport. [Juan-Pablo] Montoya looked to be like he was doing that. He went from CART to Formula 1 for a while, and then he came back and ran NASCAR. I think it's just racers want to race different things all of the time and see what it's like."

That being his contention, Busch also argued that in his opinion it would be easier to move from NASCAR into single-seaters rather than vice-versa, pointing to such as Montoya and 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve as examples of highly-successful open-wheel exponents who have conversely struggled woefully with a roof over their head.

"It's going to be a big change," he mused of a possible switch of disciplines. "I feel like it's probably easier to go that route than it is for those guys to come to this route because these cars have less downforce, less grip, more weight on the car, less technical advancements and stuff like that. For me, it seems like it would be a lot easier to drive a car that is fully equipped.

"It's kind of like getting into a Volkswagen Beetle versus a Ferrari - those are kind of the differences. The Ferrari has got everything that you need to go fast and you know it's going to stick well because it's very well-designed and it's taking the time, but a Volkswagen Beetle is kind of like a slug I guess. Like I said, I feel it would be easier to go that way than for guys to come from over there to here and run well."



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