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INDIANAPOLIS – Kurt Busch has become the first driver this year to pass rookie orientation for the Indianapolis 500.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion came to Indy this week to test himself on the 2.5-mile oval in one of Michael Andretti's IndyCars. He wound up completing all three phases of the rookie test, the last requiring him to turn 10 laps in excess of 210 mph. He posted a lap of 214 mph early in the practice that lasted a little more than five hours.
Busch's name does not actually appear on Indy's entry list yet.
But he has three advantages over other drivers looking for late rides -- a fitted seat, a complete rookie test and an interested team owner with an available car.