May 18, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; IndyCar Series driver Kurt Busch waits in the qualifying line during pole day for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Busch wins Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Award

On Sunday, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch drove in the IndyCar series for the Indianapolis 500. It was the 98th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, and Busch impressed by finishing in sixth-place.

Because of his great finish in his first attempt, Busch was named the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year.

Busch is the first NASCAR drive to win the award since Donnie Allison back in 1970.

Not only were the IndyCar officials impressed with Busch for his efforts, but Ryan Hunter-Reay, who went on to win the race by edging Helio Castroneves in an incredible sprint in the final few laps, had some very kind words.

“I’ve been impressed by Kurt since Day One,”€ Hunter-Reay said, via FOX Sports. “He came in with the right attitude, the right outlook on this whole thing. He approached it from a rookie perspective and really worked with his teammates. That’s the great thing about jumping in at Andretti; you have four other guys, four other drivers with strong cars that you can lean on. And he used that, for sure. And he contributed to the effort all month.

“He found some setup stuff and his engineer Craig Hampson, he’s won a lot of championships, that engineer, Craig. They did a great job all month. He made one little mistake in practice and it caught him out. It’s easy to happen around here. It happens to anybody. In the race, kind of settle it and fell back a little bit and the team gave him great pit stops and he started making the car more comfortable. He finished sixth.

“In his first Indy 500? Atta boy.”

After the Indy 500, Busch traveled by helicopter to Charlotte as he attempted to complete the Coca Cola 600 just a few hours later.

May 25, 2014; Concord, NC, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (41) arrives by helicopter at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after competing in the Indianapolis 500. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, Busch had some mechanical issues that led to him being unable to finish the race.

Despite being unable to complete the double, Busch’s efforts on Sunday did not go unnoticed and the praise that he has received is well-deserved.

Tags: Indianapolis 500 Indy 500 IndyCar Kurt Busch NASCAR

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