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Penske in position to double at Indy, Charlotte

CONCORD, N.C. - Thanks to a later starting time at Indianapolis, it's not possible for a driver to race in both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day anymore.

Yet car owner Roger Penske is poised to finally pull off his own IndyCar-NASCAR double.

With defending champion Helio Castroneves on the pole at Indianapolis and his drivers in three of the top four starting spots, Penske is the favorite to win an unprecedented 16th Indy 500 title.

Penske's stunning success at Indy is contrasted with his 0-for-forever drought at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he's never had a winning car in a points race.

That could change with Kurt Busch starting second today after winning last weekend's All-Star race at the track.

"It's funny how many wins he has on Memorial Day weekend up in Indy versus what he doesn't have down here in Charlotte," Busch said. "Hopefully, it comes this weekend. It would be pretty special for us to do that."

Busch pulled away from the field in the 10-lap finale last Saturday for the $1 million first prize. It came hours after Castroneves captured the Indy 500 pole.

"He wins the Indy 500 pole again and we were able to bring it home on Saturday night. To see his emotions, that smile on his face, he deserves it," Busch said of the 73-year-old Penske. "He's worked that hard."

Busch followed his All-Star win with a solid qualifying run in the No. 2 Dodge on Thursday. Busch will try to become the seventh driver to win the All-Star race and the 600 in the same year.

Penske teammates Sam Hornish Jr. will start 14th and Brad Keselowski 37th.

"He's got the best opportunity to do it," Busch said of Penske's quest for two wins Sunday. "He's got the best odds to do it this weekend with three cars up there and three cars down here."

New York Sports