Get the latest Kyle Busch news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Get the latest Kyle Busch news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Sprint Cup Series star tells tale of his own childhood mischief RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today DORAL, Fla. -- When Kyle Busch 's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title hopes fizzled in the Contender Round finale at Talladega Superspeedway , there was still plenty of racing to focus on as he turned the page from this season to 2015 preparations in all three national series. But there's another, more important focus from a different perspective coming next year, in the form of a bundle of joy for himself and his wife, Samantha. Busch talked at length about his approaching growth into fatherhood Monday before the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series awards banquet, where he'll accept team owner championship honors for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the truck tour. The couple announced in October that they were expecting their first child in May. With on-track action complete for the year, the Busches are preparing for an offseason of shopping, studying up for their new arrival and working out schedule logistics. "That is priority number one since Talladega is just trying to get everything ready and all set," Busch said. "We've been online trying to find stuff, trying to figure everything out, reading books and what all comes with it. For us, you've got December and January pretty much to figure out what your nursery is going to be because as soon as you go to Daytona for two weeks, you're home for three days and you're gone for a month when you do your West Coast swing and then it's a month later before the baby's there. It'll all come quick, I'm sure." Though Busch regularly wheels cars at 200 mph for a living, he said the thought of hands-on participation in childbirth terrifies him. So does infancy. "I'm ready for 2, 2 1/2. I'm ready for that age, right now. I could do that, no problem," Busch said, pointing to newly crowned Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick and his 2-year-old son, Keelan. "Walking around, talking a little bit, all that stuff. The zero to 12 months freaks me out -- way too much work. We've got to figure it out on our own." Busch alluded that the two may have their hands full, especially if the newborn's earliest years are anything like his. He said as a youth, he escaped through the front door of his family's home on a handful of occasions, usually on the way to his grandmother's, just a couple of houses down the road. "I knew where the fun was," Busch smiled. The couple should be content as long as the new child is able to avoid repeating the father's mischief as a toddler. Busch recalled one of the first automotive experiences of his life, something that sounded as if it was plucked from a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. "I think I was 5 or something like that, my mom, she gave me the keys and was like, 'here, go get in the truck. We're leaving in 5 or 10 minutes.' I was bugging her too much, I guess, so she gave me the keys," Busch said. "So I got in the truck, turned the key. I didn't turn it on, I just turned the key enough to where -- it was a 1983 Chevy Silverado -- I pulled the lever and knocked her into neutral and rolled across the street into the neighbor's wall. "When she came out, I was in the passenger seat and she goes, 'what the hell happened?' and I go, 'I don't know. Wasn't me.' It was fine. I don't think the neighbors ever fixed their wall, but I fixed the truck." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver expects to make full recovery by 2015 season opener
JGR driver aims to overcome personal hurdle in Contender Round opener RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Talladega Superspeedway 's unpredictable nature has earned plenty of spotlight among the next three venues in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason. For Kyle Busch , however, a different track counts as his personal house of horrors. As much trepidation as Kansas Speedway might conjure up for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Busch was calm and collected in talking about the Contender Round opener Wednesday, two days before opening practice at the 1.5-mile facility in preparation for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN). Crashes in the last two Chase races in the Sunflower State have unraveled Busch's title hopes the last two years. This season, he's not setting out to be Mr. October, but hopes to survive with more modest goals. "It's an opportune time for us," Busch said. "It's definitely a track that you don't necessarily look forward to going to, but you know it's coming so you just kind of get ready for it best you can, do the best work you can and put yourself in the best position possible to have a decent day. Essentially, that's all we need. I don't necessarily think we're out there to set the world on fire to win the race in Kansas. I think for us, a solid top-10 is what we need to get out of there with." Top-10s have been difficult to come by at what statistically ranks as Busch's worst track, with an average finish of 22.7 and just two top-10 finishes in 14 starts in his Sprint Cup Series career. Since the track reconfigured its banking with new pavement in the summer of 2012, Busch's fortunes have taken an even further nose-dive with three crashes in the last four events; only his 15th-place effort there in May over that four-race span was wreck-free. "I don't know what it is," Busch said. "I thought I was just starting to figure it out there on the old asphalt and getting pretty good at being able to run the top and run around there and be OK. Once they repaved it, I haven't been able to find my rear with both hands, so definitely got to figure that out. "This spring, I thought we ran OK. We were running, I think I got as high as sixth or eighth or something like that before I got myself busted for speeding on pit road. We go back there this time, and again, I think we're very capable of being able to run top-10 and just try to get out of there with that and just build on that consistency for this round." Busch finished fourth in the series standings in 2013 -- his best season-long result thus far in his 10-year career. In previous years, Busch admitted over the offseason, he would fold when faced with a dose of adversity, but last season, a new approach that emphasized resilience carried him. This season, the new-look rules format for the Chase -- with points hitting the reset button after each three-race round -- could help Busch compartmentalize any rough patches. To maximize that benefit, he'll still need to get through Kansas, but at least he heads there with a clean slate after the Challenger Round. "I don't think it's bad; I just think it's the situation we're in," Busch said. "It's not quite what it was before. The Chase format in years past, you essentially eliminated a guy each week. I mean, it's no different than it is now. Now, every three races, you reset at zero. Right now, Brad Keselowski 's won five races and I'm at the exact same points as he is and I've got one win. It doesn't matter how many you win, but you've got to win them at the right time." Timing may mean everything for the dozen drivers trying to make the top-eight cut for the Eliminator Round. The dread associated with the Contender Round's elimination race at fickle Talladega has placed a premium on performance for the round's first two events -- Kansas and Charlotte . Controlling his own destiny at a restrictor-plate track is a demanding task that Busch would rather avoid. He says that scenario, however, could make even the steadiest driver a daring risk-taker out of necessity. "I think desperation is going to change everything," Busch said. "What you've got to do is going to be anything you can do. If you're going to go four-wide or five-wide at Talladega in order to get yourself in a spot that's going to be able to make you transfer through and take yourself a chance of crashing, you're going to do it. You've got to. It's all about trying to make it through to the final round." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Kyle Busch Motorsports wins back-to-back owner titles for the Camping World Truck Series.
Sixth series win of the year for 'Rowdy' RELATED: Complete race results " Updated series standings KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kyle Busch won the lottery on Saturday afternoon -- the Kansas Lottery 300 , to be precise. But it must have seemed like a huge jackpot for the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who won a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway for the first time since 2007. "Whoo! We won at Kansas," Busch radioed as he crossed the start/finish line, with as much relief as elation in his voice. It took Busch 19 laps after a restart on Lap 161 to catch and pass runner-up Kevin Harvick . On Lap 180, Busch ducked down to the apron near the start/finish line and powered past Harvick into the lead. From that point, Busch pulled away for his sixth Nationwide Series victory of the season and the 69th of his career, extending his own series record. The Kansas drought broken, Busch was already thinking about Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 , the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Contender Round. Never having scored a top-five in a Cup race at Kansas, Busch will start seventh Sunday. "You learn enough here -- there was a bit of moving around today and trying to run bottom and trying to run top and seeing where the different lines were in traffic and stuff like that," Busch said. "I feel like our Cup car is OK. If we can get out of here with a top-10 day tomorrow that would be pretty good. "Great effort by (crew chief) Adam (Stevens) and all the guys on this 54 car -- it was really awesome again today and should have won at Chicago just like we did here today. Missed out there, but we just keep doing things right, and you end up in Victory Lane, so you have to have it all match up for you." Harvick had winning chances because his crew chief, Ernie Cope, played a contrarian pit strategy to perfection and got some help from a timely caution. Harvick was the only lead-lap driver to bring his car to pit road under the seventh caution on Lap 91, and that put him in position to wait out a cycle of green-flag stops with roughly 60 laps left. With all other lead-lap cars pitting between Laps 136 and 141, Harvick was the only car on the lead lap when Dakoda Armstrong 's spin brought out the eighth caution. Busch , who was leading before the cycle of stops began, got the free pass as the highest scored lapped car, and the rest of the lead-lappers took wave-arounds after Harvick pitted for fuel. Harvick led the field to green on Lap 153 but couldn't keep Busch at bay on longer runs. "They gave us a good opportunity with strategy there, (but) the 54 was quite a bit better as we got going into the run," Harvick said. "We could hold him off for a short run, but in the end his car would maintain speed, and ours would slow down. "We just got beat there today, but that happens." The race dealt a crushing blow to Regan Smith 's championship hopes. Smith spun and backed into the wall during qualifying earlier in the day and was forced to start from the rear of the field in a backup car. On Lap 140, the sway bar arm on Smith's No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet broke, and lost seven laps getting it fixed. Smith finished 22nd and is now 38 points behind teammate Chase Elliott in the series standings. Ty Dillon, third in the championship battle, ran fifth Saturday and is 40 points behind Elliott, who finished 10th, with four races left in the season. "Any time you have to roll a backup car out two hours before a race, you have to expect anything to happen," said Smith, who just re-signed for another year with JR Motorsports’ Nationwide program. "My guys did a great job of getting the car ready to where we could get to the grid with it, much less be competitive for the first stage of the race. "We fought with it. It's kind of what we anticipated for the day and at this point -- obviously disappointed. It's been a long year." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag to win the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Lining up second to Busch is Chase contender Gordon
After losing lead in closing laps of NNS race, JGR driver leaves Cup race early RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Team owner Joe Gibbs said it was "frustration." Crew chief Dave Rogers said it was "a miscommunication." Driver Kyle Busch ? He wasn't talking, having departed after his car was damaged beyond repair, the result of which left the Joe Gibbs Racing owner with a 36th-place finish in Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway . It was the fourth consecutive finish of 36th or worse for Busch , who had finished second in three of four NASCAR Sprint Cup races before this latest slide. Sixth in points after this year's Indianapolis stop, Busch has now fallen 11 positions to 17th. Damage from an incident involving his No. 18 Toyota was too severe for repairs, leaving Busch to exit his car with less than 100 laps remaining in the race. Radio conversations between Busch and Rogers appeared to get heated before Busch's departure. "I still don't know what happened," Rogers said of the race-ending incident. "I think we got into the fence and I could hear the spotter say the tires were up, I heard Kyle say something about right-front suspension (but) I couldn't put it together. "I got frustrated with Kyle because I wasn't sure what he was saying; he got frustrated with me because I wasn't fixing the race car. It's Bristol, it's loud, and a lot of things are going on." Busch , who had qualified fourth in the 43-car field, drove into the lead early. But a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 63 dropped him from first to the tail end of the lead-lap cars. Collected in a five-car accident at Lap 125, Busch was unable to crack the top 10 for the remainder of the race. That incident began when Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson made contact in front of Busch . As he slowed to avoid contact, Clint Bowyer got into the back of Busch's car, damaging the left rear. "We were really fast tonight, had a top-four qualifying effort, then we drove up into the lead, thought we were going to have a shot to win it and then we got caught up in someone else's mess early on so everyone's frustrated," Rogers said. "It's been a long month. Emotions just overflowed like they always do at Bristol. It's really no big deal." Rogers said he thought the final incident cut a tire, but his driver said the suspension on the car was broken. "He said, 'No, you didn't fix the problem. The suspension is broke,' " Rogers said. "I said, 'Well, if the suspension is broke then drive it to the truck' … there's nothing you can do about it 50 laps to go in the race. "But he's right. The suspension's broke. That car was not salvageable. We couldn't get it back on the track no matter what we wanted to do. But it was just a miscommunication what we needed to work on." Gibbs said he spoke to both Busch and Rogers after the race. "That's just pro sports," Gibbs said. "Every now and then you get frustrated. "They had three weeks … they were second, second, second. I think the night was totally frustrating. *( Kyle ) had a great car and it was a series of circumstances. Something like that happens in pro sports you can get frustrated." Rogers said the heated conversations wouldn't impact his working relationship with his driver. "If Kyle Busch wasn't passionate, I probably wouldn't work for him," he said. "And if I wasn't passionate, Kyle Busch probably wouldn't want me as his crew chief. You've got two passionate people that want to win more than anything. And sometimes that passion gets the best of you. Tonight's that night. Kyle and I are fine. He's still my buddy, I love him to death and I'm very confident he'd tell you the same about me. "We both got frustrated tonight, but it's such a small deal. It really doesn't even factor into the Chase. We have some really good cars sitting on jack stands getting ready to go. All the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing are busting their butts and they've been building better and better cars. Lately, we've had speed in our cars and we're racing our worst stuff. We're saving our good stuff for the Chase." NASCAR.com's Alan Cavanna contributed to this report. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule