NASCAR Winston Cup driver John Andretti has been granted permission to return to his open-wheel roots in 2003 and is set to attempt the Memorial Weekend double: a 1100 mile racing marathon starting with the Indy 500 and ending with the Coca Cola 600.

In his cousin Michael's final race, John Andretti will be allowed to try and qualify for this year's Indianapolis 500 after his Winston Cup team, Petty Enterprises, finally granted the former IndyCar driver permission to attempt the 'Memorial Weekend Double' for the first time.

Andretti has already attempted one of American Racing's toughest tests of single-day endurance once before, when driving for Billy Hagan in 1994, and came away with a tenth place finish at Indy and a 36th place effort in the Coca Cola 600 Winston Cup event.

Last year Robby Gordon was the only driver to try and achieve what would be a unique daily double, finishing 8th at Indy and 16th at Charlotte.

The subject of Andretti driving alongside his cousin Michael at Indianapolis was the subject of much conjecture during Andretti's lengthy contract negotiation process with the Petty team. Petty Enterprises President and CEO Kyle Petty had previously been unwilling to release his stables' lead driver for a jaunt that usually sees the driver in question complete 500 miles of racing BEFORE he arrives to do his regular day job; a mere 400 laps around the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway - at night.

Twice a Winston Cup race winner, the 39 year-old made his Indy 500 debut in 1988, finishing 21st. In seven career Indy 500 starts Andretti has a best finish of fifth in 1991 along with three other top ten efforts.

No team or sponsor has been mentioned in connection with Andretti's ride.