RELATED: Full race results " Final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- To go fast, all Kyle Busch had to do was mash the gas pedal. To go faster, all he had to do was slow down. Had to slow down. No choice there. Busch "got in a fight" with an unprotected, concrete wall at Daytona before the season's first Sprint Cup Series race. He lost. Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway , he won. The road to the Sprint Cup title is a curious one. They say the 30-year-old Busch is a "changed" man -- actually, the word often used is "matured" -- and I hope that's only partly true. It's the competitive fire in Busch that pushes him to dance with a race car on the very edge. Occasionally, the results are disastrous; often, though, they are a thing of beauty. Busch didn't compete in all 36 points races this season, but for reasons out of his control . A broken right leg and a left foot that gave new meaning to the word "fractured" took care of that. For nearly 12 weeks, Busch idled. Idle is not a speed to which the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is accustomed. One doesn't win 154 races across three series by idling. A bed-ridden Busch had to sit and watch as three other drivers climbed into his No. 18 Toyota. It's been said that nothing hurts a racer more than seeing someone else in his car. Rehab was painful; sitting on the sidelines was agonizing. Potential wins were slipping by him on the television screen. When he finally did make it back to the track, no one knew what to expect, least of all Busch. Sure, he was confident. His crew chief, Adam Stevens, and car owner, Joe Gibbs, were confident. But no one was certain. No one knew if a broken leg and fractured foot were the only real injuries Busch suffered in Daytona several months earlier. Maybe the "want to" was still there, but the question was, could he? Could he still feel every nuance of the car as it rocketed around a race track? Could he push it to the very edge, find the sliver of an opening that existed only briefly, and charge his way through the field? Not only could Busch still do those things, but in some ways he did them better. Only six weeks after his return, Busch was back in the winner's circle, victorious at, of all places, Sonoma Raceway. In little more than a month's time, he won three consecutive races and four of five. Nearly as telling was his performance in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The format, tweaked from time to time, has always dealt hefty penalties for miscues with little or no time to recover, and Busch has had his share. This time, he navigated the minefield that stretched from Chicago to Homestead with minimal damage. If Busch has changed, so has his approach, something he called a "just let everything be" tactic. It's a short phrase that speaks volumes about his confidence in himself and his team. Changed? Maybe. Maybe hitting a concrete wall and starting a family and sitting on the sidelines had an effect on him after all. Slowing down wasn't a part of the plan. But in the end, that's what it took. And Busch, the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is just fine with that.
The Nationwide Series returns to Iowa for a night race
Lorene King, executive director of the NASCAR Foundation, has done a Q&A with each of the four finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. They will appear on NASCAR.com this week. RELATED: Cast your vote today As another year comes swiftly to a close, we should all take time for reflection. As a charitable organization, we are thankful for those of you whose volunteer service impacts the lives of others and our communities. Volunteerism remains strong with one in four adults volunteering in our country. The NASCAR Foundation has established the encouragement and support of volunteerism as one of our major efforts. Through the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award that honors our founder, Betty Jane France, we annually receive and review hundreds of nominees from which four finalists are selected. The stories of these four outstanding, everyday champions and the charities they serve are told through special appearances at NASCAR races, our marketing efforts and those of our supporters and sponsors. We are blessed this year that Nationwide has joined us as Presenting Sponsor of the Award and is helping us spread the word about each of our finalists and their work for children. This week, we are giving you a more in-depth look at each of this year's finalists. These outstanding volunteers will touch your heart, so please stay tuned as each of these champions for children share their passion. And you can help -- vote for your favorite every day, share these stories through social media, and tune in to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 4 (NBCSN), to see the winner of this year's award. Q: What does it mean to you to be among the finalists for the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award sponsored by Nationwide? A: To be chosen as a finalist and to be recognized for all I have done and given; to do something, helps me emotionally. Though this nomination will not bring my daughter Erin back, it comforts me greatly to be recognized for doing something, so more survive sepsis! Q: How will being selected as a finalist further your cause? A: Just being chosen as a finalist and competing for this year’s award requires educating people about sepsis. Less than 50 percent of Americans have heard the word, "sepsi," yet it is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States and the No. 1 cause of death in most hospitals. Another factor furthering our cause is the exposure from The NASCAR Foundation; by highlighting this as one finalist's cause, millions will be introduced to the word, "sepsis," thus creating needed public awareness. Sepsis kills more children than childhood cancer. No one even knows the total number of people, including children who survive, but who lose limbs or have disabilities sometimes for the rest of their lives. Q: Why did you choose to work with this organization or for this cause? A: I did not choose to work for this cause, it chose me! When we lost Erin to sepsis -- something I had never heard of -- I looked around for answers and support. There were none. There were no advocacy groups, no institutions dealing with this and even most nurses and other healthcare providers did not have any education on sepsis. SO, I did not choose this organization. I started it. Q: What inspires you and your personal commitment to this cause? A: What inspires me has changed since I became involved. We lost Erin in April of 2002 from sepsis. I am now inspired by my Erin, plus all the unnecessary deaths and disabilities in the U.S . and worldwide. I am actually on a task force of the Global Sepsis Alliance that is working with the World Health Organization. Much to do, many to save! Q: What is the most rewarding moment during your work with your charity so far? A: The most rewarding moment is when I get confirmation and appreciation that I did something. Also, when I help someone survive physically or when I can help survivors heal is very rewarding. It is very rewarding and gratifying to know you are helping change the world regarding what may be the No. 1 cause of death on this planet!
Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin wants you to vote for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2015) — As The Championship 4 get ready to race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway , preparations are underway in Las Vegas for annual postseason celebrations honoring the eventual 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Running Dec. 1-4, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week will once again bring together the "who's who" of the racing industry, celebrities and fans for a robust schedule of events featuring the DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, and the star-studded NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Wynn Las Vegas, the premier resort destination in Las Vegas, will serve as headquarters for NASCAR during the week. This year's events will bring fans closer to their favorite drivers than ever before, featuring special guests and giveaways at The LINQ Promenade, an open-air fan hub offering retail and restaurant options along with the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller. Fans will also get the chance to watch all 16 Chase drivers take their race cars to the streets for NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco, an annual parade down Las Vegas Boulevard featuring burnouts and pre-event festivities. New to the event this year, NBCSN’s Rutledge Wood and television personality Courtney Hansen will host the fan-favorite driver tell-all, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint. In addition, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will debut a revamped Red Carpet walk offering select fans a chance to see many of their favorite drivers before they enter the Awards. Fans can stop by The LINQ Promenade to check out the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule and learn more about how to secure access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Red Carpet. NBCSN will broadcast this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live at 8 p.m. ET. For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, visit www.nascar.com/championsweek . Following is a rundown of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week activities; all times are Pacific time unless otherwise noted . Tuesday, Dec. 1 NASCAR Live: Eli Gold will sit down with the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to discuss his road to the championship. NASCAR Live will air from inside the Race and Sports Book at Wynn Las Vegas from 4 – 5 p.m. on Motor Racing Network. This event is free to the public. Fans in attendance will have a chance to participate in the live broadcast. Tuesday – Wednesday, Dec. 1 – 2 DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum: Part one of the annual DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, presented by SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal, will bring together industry decision-makers for insights and thought-provoking discussions on the state of motorsports. The event will be held at The Mirage Las Vegas. Media credentials are required and to register click here. Wednesday – Friday, Dec. 2 – 4 Champion’s Week Live at The LINQ Promenade: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week fan experience will be anchored in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip – Champion’s Week Live at The LINQ Promenade, the ultimate NASCAR fan headquarters. Open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. each day, fans can purchase merchandise of The Challenger 16 at the NASCAR Superstore, get their photo taken with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy and view The Challenger 16 cars on display. For a full list of activities, fans and media can visit www.nascar.com/championsweek . Wednesday, Dec. 2 Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway : A fan-favorite event, the seventh annual LVMS Fanfest will begin at 2 p.m. at the Fremont Street Experience. This event is free to the public and will consist of a red carpet walk by the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challengers, followed by a special "game show format" event. Select fans may be chosen to participate in an onstage game with the drivers for a chance to win two tickets to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards held two nights later at Wynn Las Vegas. Thursday, Dec. 3 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will take place from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas, where several team and individual awards will be presented . Hosted by FOX Sports personality Mike Joy, the event will be live-streamed on www.NASCAR.com . NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco: Fans can catch their favorite driver during pre-race introductions hosted by FOX Sports reporter Jamie Little at 2:45 p.m. The green flag on the Victory Lap will fly at 3:30 p.m. when the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers parade down Las Vegas Boulevard in their race cars. NASCAR Victory Lap will start in front of the Miracle Mile Shops and finish at The LINQ. For a full list of where each driver will participate in burnouts, fans can visit The LINQ Promenade earlier in the week. The event will be simulcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and www.NASCAR.com . NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint: A must-see event, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint will take place from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at The Pearl Theater inside Palms Casino Resort. All 16 Chase Challengers will appear on stage and give fans behind-the-scenes info about their lives on and off the track. The event will be simulcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and www.NASCAR.com . Friday, Dec. 4 Championship Year in Review: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Claire B. Lang will be joined live from 1-3 p.m. by the championship winning driver, owner, crew chief and other crew members in an exclusive two-hour retrospective on their championship-winning season. 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: This black-tie celebration will be held at Wynn Las Vegas, where the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner and the other Chase drivers will be honored. The drivers and stars will walk the Red Carpet from 4 – 5 p.m. NBCSN will broadcast this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live at 8 p.m. ET. Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide Reveal: The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide will be given to an outstanding volunteer who has made a profound impact on children in his or her community. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the national award winner during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and donate $100,000 to the winner’s chosen charity. Fans can cast their vote for the 2015 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting www.NASCAR.com/award before 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 3.
Lorene King, executive director of the NASCAR Foundation, has done a Q&A with each of the four finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. They will appear on NASCAR.com this week. RELATED: Cast your vote today As another year comes swiftly to a close, we should all take time for reflection. As a charitable organization, we are thankful for those of you whose volunteer service impacts the lives of others and our communities. Volunteerism remains strong with one in four adults volunteering in our country. The NASCAR Foundation has established the encouragement and support of volunteerism as one of our major efforts. Through the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award that honors our founder, Betty Jane France, we annually receive and review hundreds of nominees from which four finalists are selected. The stories of these four outstanding, everyday champions and the charities they serve are told through special appearances at NASCAR races, our marketing efforts and those of our supporters and sponsors. We are blessed this year that Nationwide has joined us as Presenting Sponsor of the Award and is helping us spread the word about each of our finalists and their work for children. This week, we are giving you a more in-depth look at each of this year's finalists. These outstanding volunteers will touch your heart, so please stay tuned as each of these champions for children share their passion. And you can help -- vote for your favorite every day, share these stories through social media, and tune in to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 4 (NBCSN), to see the winner of this year's award. Q: What does it mean to you to be among the finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide this year? A: It means the world. Not only is my whole family NASCAR fans, this award will truly help put us on the map and be a game changer for the Stephanie Decker Foundation. The cost of running a camp for amputee kids can be quite high, between scholarships, travel/food for kids, programming, supplies and staffing. Q: How will being selected as a finalist further your cause? A: This award provides a large platform to bring awareness to children with missing limbs to an audience that we wouldn’t have reached before. Not only is it an opportunity to obtain sponsorships and form partnerships with other like-minded foundations, but it truly helps to bring awareness to the parents of limb different children, letting them know our organization exists to help. Q: Why did you choose to work with this organization and/or cause? A: When I lost my legs and began to get media attention about my survival, I realized that I was given a true opportunity to help make a difference. After experiencing our first camp and seeing the impact on the children we were helping, I knew this was what my family and I were meant to do. We haven’t looked back since. Our foundation helps provide sport opportunities, and sports are huge in our family. Being able to provide kids with confidence, skill, and teach metaphors for life experiences is priceless. Q: What inspires you and your personal commitment to your cause? A: When the kids first come into camp they are shy, but then they just blossom and come out of their shell. The truth is, those kids personally give us so much more in return than we can give them. It's about the kids. They are our "why." Q: What has been the most rewarding moment during your work with your charity so far? A: There was an amazing girl named Ella who never played sports (didn't think she could) and was so quiet. Through her experiences at camp, she has gained so much confidence. Now she does jujitsu and loves to talk -- and her mother said our camp changed her life. Instead of being a victim in other people’s eyes, she is now an advocate for herself and is taking on the world. It is priceless. Q: Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you, your charity and your work? A: We are so honored to even be considered. It's important that people know we are an organization that needs some awareness -- by voting for our foundation, it's a true opportunity to make a difference in children's lives.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Sitting outside along the shore of the speedway's infield lake and enjoying some down time with friends and extended family, Sherry Pollex was smiling and laughing Friday afternoon. Martin Truex Jr . was just inside their adjacent motorhome dressed in his racing suit having a small plate of a late healthy lunch and glancing at a NASCAR practice session on the television. Truex is one of four drivers eligible to win NASCAR's coveted Sprint Cup Series championship in Sunday's Ford 400, starting 11th here at Homestead-Miami Speedway . He is the bona fide high-achieving underdog having earned a shot at the title against retiring four-time champion Jeff Gordon , reigning Cup champ Kevin Harvick and another possible first-time Cup titlist Kyle Busch . All the best to our hometown @FR78Racing team, Driver @MartinTruex_Jr & Owner Barney Visser w/their championship race tomorrow!! — John Elway (@johnelway) November 21, 2015 For a couple on the verge of the highest-profile racing weekend of their lives, Pollex and Truex were remarkably calm and relaxed, their dog sweetly splitting time between the two. Pollex laying comfortably on a couch while Truex leaned back in a chair. Pollex had just gone through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer on Monday -- she gets the extreme treatment every 21 days -- and conceded she was tired and not feeling 100 percent even if she looked it. But she is also the kind of person who shall never give cancer an edge -- in its effect on her mojo or her natural all-American good looks. "We keep our lives really normal,'' Pollex said as Truex grinned proudly from the chair next to her. "My doctor will say, 'I know you, you just had chemotherapy but you're going to the race track and going to talk to everyone.' And I just say, 'of course I am.' "It's not my weekend, it's not about me having cancer. It's about him and the first opportunity in his life to have the biggest weekend of his career and win a championship. We're going to focus on that. We don't even talk about cancer at all.'' Truex is her greatest supporter and for this special championship weekend, she is eager to return the favor again. It's actually a remarkably well-working, mutually beneficial support system . Truex is on the verge of his greatest career achievement and despite the rough treatment and tough diagnosis eager to suck the liveliness out of her, Pollex is eager and enthusiastic to enjoy this special situation -- a lesson in living the day. No matter what happens in NASCAR's big finale, they are both huge winners. "I think it's definitely easier when your team is running good,'' Truex said of his Denver-based Furniture Row Racing operation. "I have 100 percent confidence in my team and every time I come to the race track it's stress free. I know we're going to run well. The stuff I do away from the track really has no bearing. "It's real easy to put on your helmet, focus on your driving. You know what you have to do. The stuff away from the track really has no bearing at all on how we run. At least for me, when I get to the track, I focus on that. Even with everything we've had going on, it really hasn't changed the way I race." Even if it has greatly changed his life. "It is a new perspective,'' Truex said with a slight smile and sweet glance at Pollex. "I realize there's no reason to worry about this stuff (with Pollex) because it's something you can't control . It's easy to separate the two. In a lot of ways, having the distractions away from the track keeps your mind off racing and allows you to focus on it when you're back.'' Truex has certainly channeled his worry and energy this season. His Chevrolet has eight top-fives and 22 top-10s through 35 races. He won at Pocono Raceway in June and it has been a career year by all judgments whether Truex leaves South Florida with a big new trophy or not. But interestingly, instead of using the most heart-wrenching of circumstance as a crutch, Truex has used it to inspire and achieve. Instead of being distracted and deterred, he has used his situation and Pollex's illness to succeed and to live. No matter what happens in the NASCAR season-finale, Truex and Pollex are the big winners.
RELATED: Full race results " Race recap SHOP: Champion gear In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completed his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. Busch took home the 2015 championship by being the top finisher among the Championship 4 drivers, which also included Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr ., in the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch led 41 laps on the day and the last seven of the 267-lap event for his first career postseason win as a member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. "Rowdy" spent much of the race running in the top two and took the lead from Brad Keselowski for good shortly after the Lap 261 restart. Busch then distanced himself from Harvick, the series' 2014 champion, who finished as the runner-up in the race and final standings. Gordon finished sixth in his final race, while Truex finished 12th. "This is just so unbelievable, so amazing and means so much right here, right now and probably will for a long, long time to come," Busch said on the championship stage at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "The opportunity that the amount of people that have poured their life and soul into everything that Kyle Busch does and is about -- from M&M's to Toyota to Snickers and Twix and Skittles, Joe Gibbs (team owner) and his family and all of Joe Gibbs Racing , everyone that gave me such a fast race car here tonight to drive. It was so much fun. "This is just a dream come true and my family, my wife, my son -- to have him this year and to have everything we've gone through this year to be in this moment -- I don't know what else to say, but this is so special." The title makes the Busch brothers -- Kurt won the 2004 championship -- the second pair of brothers in NASCAR to win premier series championships. The Labonte brothers also have accomplished that with Terry winning titles in 1984 and 1996 and Bobby winning in 2000. RELATED: See all the premier series champions The 2015 season started off in a frightening fashion for Busch. A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway left him with a broken right leg and a broken left foot. Busch missed the first 11 points races of the season before returning in the middle of May for the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Matt Crafton , David Ragan and Erik Jones each took turns behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR granted Busch a waiver to make the Chase provided he was able to win a race and crack the top 30 in points before the end of the 26-race regular season at Richmond International Raceway . It took Busch just over a month to find Victory Lane and he did so at Sonoma Raceway, holding off his brother. That sparked a stretch of four wins in five races for the 30-year-old, including three straight wins at Kentucky Speedway , New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway . He nearly pulled off a fourth straight win at Pocono Raceway but ran out of gas on the final lap. RELATED: See all the 2015 winners For the second half of the waiver requirement, Busch cracked the top 30 in points after the race at Watkins Glen International in August and secured his spot in the Chase after the Darlington race, which was the second-to-last race of the regular season. The Chase provided an early test for Busch as a wreck at New Hampshire and a 37th-place finish left him on the outside looking in of advancing to the Contender Round heading to Dover International Speedway . However, he was able to rally to advance with a runner-up finish at the "Monster Mile." Contact with Kyle Larson near the entrance of pit road at Charlotte in the Contender Round opener derailed a promising day for Busch and left him needing strong performances at Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway to make the Eliminator Round. Busch delivered at both, gaining the spots he needed late at Talladega, which was where he was involved in a wreck the previous year that took him out of the Chase. Busch was a model of consistency in the Eliminator Round with three top-five finishes to advance on points to the Championship 4. The title season was also a big one off the track for Busch as he and wife Samantha welcomed son Brexton in May, just days after Busch's return to competition. During Championship 4 Media Day, Busch and Joe Gibbs revealed that Busch had inked a contract extension days after the news of Mars extension as sponsor on the No. 18 Toyota was announced. The Sprint Cup championship is the first for crew chief Adam Stevens, who was in his first year as a pit boss in the Sprint Cup Series, and the fourth (and first since 2005) for Gibbs. It was also the first Sprint Cup championship for manufacturer Toyota. "We are extremely proud of Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing on winning the Sprint Cup Series driver's championship," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S .A. "It's an incredible accomplishment for Kyle, to overcome the adversity he faced this year and come back with the focus and determination he has had to win races, qualify for the Chase and then earn the ultimate prize, his first Sprint Cup Series championship. "Winning this NASCAR championship has been a huge aspiration for Toyota since joining NASCAR in 2004. We are honored to finally be on this stage and join Kyle and Joe Gibbs for our first Sprint Cup Series title." Championship weekend was a banner one for the 30-year-old Busch. In addition to his Sprint Cup championship, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Erik Jones won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship on Friday night and KBM won the owner's championship in that series.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- As Carli Lloyd sat for an interview behind the XFINITY stage set-up just outside the Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday morning, a long, committed and excited line of assorted people waited for her autograph, a chance to meet one of the United States' all-time most accomplished soccer players. Joking a bit about the extreme South Florida humidity, Lloyd, 33, was gracious and truly as interested in learning about NASCAR as sharing her incredible personal story as one of the world's greatest soccer players. "When the World Cup finished, my agent busy with a lot of requests, and my first big-time commercial was with XFINITY , and I thought it was so well done and I really enjoyed it," Lloyd said. "That was the start of the partnership between us. And then this came up and I was thrilled. I said I'd love to do this. "What's great about what happened from the World Cup is I've gotten to get out of the bubble of just soccer and gotten to experience so many different things, meet different people and go to different events. When would I have ever gotten the chance to see something like this?" Lloyd was surprised at the number of people waiting on the other side of our interview area for a chance to meet her and get an autograph. Minutes earlier, she played a little soccer with current XFINITY Series championship leader Chris Buescher -- part lesson, part shootout. In the end, Buescher beat her 4-1 -- kicking shots into a much larger goal. "It was really cool chatting with him about his preparation and how he trains and then kick it around with him," Lloyd said. "The first shot he used his toe and I was like, 'Hey, you've got to use the inside of your foot.' Then he started killing it. I was thinking, 'I shouldn't have given him any pointers.' "I said, 'Have you ever kicked a soccer ball?' He said, 'Yeah, when I was four.' " Lloyd said she mostly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with Buescher, who leads defending XFINITY Series champ Chase Elliott by 18 points entering Saturday's season finale. "You don't realize how cool these races are until you actually come and see these things, see the pits, how fast they change tires, see the drivers and their training and preparation," Lloyd said. "They are really fit and it takes a lot to drive the car around the track, you don't just hop in and go. It's been really cool, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be here. "Just doing our Q&A, it's really fascinating to see the parallels, even though they are different sports. The mental aspect of his sport ... if he switches off, something terrible could happen on the track. It's the same thing with us. If you're not mentally prepared, you could risk being injured on the field." After finishing up her time at NASCAR's season finale -- she was Saturday's official starter, as well -- Lloyd and her team will return to the field for four more matches as part of the World Cup-winning team's U.S . Tour. Then in 2016 it's time to start preparing for the Olympics -- the nation solidly behind them "We're in November and the World Cup happened in July and people are still wanting to come see us and I think that speaks volumes," Lloyd said. "If something isn't going to be around and popular, it fizzles out in a month or so. That's not happening and that's a really good sign. "It's really cool people are here in their uniforms and want autographs on their soccer balls. I think it's great. I'm enjoying being able to do different things and be a part of this. "I think we captivated a nation and inspired not only young girls, but boys and even adults. That's just what it's all about. I want people to hear my story, the ups and downs. You can't pick things out of successful moments and get better. The moments people don't see, what they don't realize is it takes a lot of hard work, ups and downs and obstacles to get to this point. That's the message I'm trying to get out."
Crash that broke his leg and foot, journey back to racing SHOP: Busch gear Nov. 22: Busch wins first Sprint Cup Series championship In a season fit for the silver screen, Kyle Busch completes his emotional comeback from a devastating season-opening injury to capture his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. " Read the full story " Final 2015 standings Nov. 22: Busch wins title with victory at Homestead-Miami Driver Kyle Busch caps an amazing comeback, winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 to hold off fellow Championship 4 contenders Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr . " Read the full story " Complete race results Aug. 9: Busch breaks into top 30 in drivers points standings A runner-up finish at Watkins Glen pushed Kyle Busch into 30th place in the Sprint Cup points standings, a requirement of eligibility for him for the Chase. With four race wins under his belt, he must remain in the top 30 to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Full race results July 11: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Kentucky A second win helps Kyle Busch 's chances of cracking the top 30 in points, the second condition he must meet to make the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup . " Read the full story " Full race results June 28: Kyle Busch wins Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Needing victory to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup , Kyle Busch got the victory at Sonoma , a track that had been a concern as he continues to recover because the road course is so physically demanding. " Read the full story " Full race results June 13: Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Michigan Kyle Busch goes to Victory Lane in his first race back in the XFINITY Series after breaking his leg and left foot at Daytona. " Read the full story " Full race results May 24: Kyle Busch completes Coca-Cola 600 , finishes 11th Kyle Busch makes his Sprint Cup points race debut for the season in the Coca-Cola 600 , climbing to second place before fuel strategy led to an 11th-place finish. " Read the full story May 18: Kyle, Samantha Busch welcome first baby Driver Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, had their first child, a boy, at 9:45 p.m. May 18. Brexton Locke Busch is his name. " Read the full story May 16: Busch finishes sixth in All-Star race After a pleasing top-10 run in his first race back from leg and foot injuries, Kyle Busch looks forward to running in the Coca-Cola 600 " Read the full story May 13: Kyle Busch granted Chase waiver NASCAR has granted Kyle Busch a waiver for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Find out what he has to do to make the Chase. " Read the full story " Official NASCAR release " Cain: Making Chase will cap comeback May 12: Kyle Busch announces return After missing 11 events to open the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season following his injury at Daytona, Kyle Busch has set his return for the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16. " Read the full story " Drivers react to news of Busch's return " Herman Unplugged: Reaction to Busch's return " Busch's return a hot topic at Dover test May 9: Jones' promising run crashes at Kansas Making his first Sprint Cup start filling in for the injured Kyle Busch , Erik Jones was working on a great run at Kansas until he found the wall late in the race. " Read the full story April 16: Accident leads Busch to become unexpected safety advocate NASCAR.com's Holly Cain tells the story of how Kyle Busch 's wreck at Daytona has changed the Joe Gibbs Racing driver into a saftey advocate for the sport. Busch talks about how impressed he was of the breadth and depth of detailed information that has been gathered from his accident. " Read the full story April 16: Busch family bonds, finds strength in recovery With a baby on the way, the Busch family discuss how they've worked as a team to recover from Kyle's injury while prepping to expand their family. The parents-to-be explain that it hasn't been easy, but they're counting their blessings. " Read the full story April 15: Kyle Busch analyzes tape of his wreck Kyle Busch holds his first press conference after his crash at Daytona and uses video to break down his thought process as the wreck unfolded. His doctors are pleased with his progress, but he has no timeline for returning to driving. " Read the full story " Herman Unplugged: Busch should sit out 2015 April 15: Kyle Busch responds to Keselowski blog During his first press conference after his Daytona crash, Kyle Busch also addressed his long-running feud with fellow Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski . " Watch the video " More on Keselowski's blog April 15: Kyle Busch , wife discuss crash, impending parenthood In an interview with Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha discussed the driver's accident at Daytona in February " Read the full story March 20: Kyle Busch takes next step in recovery Kyle Busch posts a video on Facebook of himself moving around a bit with the aid of a walker, along with encouragement from his wife, Samantha, and their dog. " Read the full story March 17: KBM drivers keep in touch Daniel Suarez says his team owner's advice is invaluable. And Justin Boston reports Busch is 'recovering quickly.' " Read the full story March 14: Kurt Busch hopes brother doesn't rush return Kurt Busch says, 'You can't rush the healing of bones and surgeries.' And teammate Denny Hamlin says Kyle Busch is staying engaged with the No. 18 team despite being sidelined. " Read the full story March 11: Kyle Busch , Samantha, visit KBM Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, take a field trip to Kyle Busch Motorsports and tell the team, 'Progress is going well.' " Read the full story March 10: Busch gets walking boots Kyle Busch gets soft casts removed from both legs and moves up to walking boots, which Samantha Busch dubs 'Terminator boots' in a Twitter photo. " Read the full story March 2: Subs announced for No. 54 XFINITY Toyota Denny Hamlin , Erik Jones and Boris Said are tapped as substitute drivers for Kyle Busch in the No. 54 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota. "Get Well Kyle" stickers adorn the No. 54. " Read the full story Feb. 27: Kyle Busch heads home after second surgery After a second surgery to treat his injuries, Kyle Busch was in a Charlotte hospital for observation for two days before being cleared to go home. The No. 18 racing team put a "Get well Kyle" on the rear bumper of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the Atlanta race. " Read the full story Feb. 25: Kyle Busch has successful surgery on left foot Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Kyle Busch underwent a successful surgery on his left foot at a Charlotte hospital. " Read the full story Feb. 24: Kyle Busch leaves Florida hospital Kyle Busch was released from Halifax Health Medical Center. He boarded a plane on a stretcher and was transferred to a North Carolina hospital for further treatment of multiple leg injuries. " Read the full story Feb. 24: David Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing announces that David Ragan will sub for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota for several weeks, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway . " Read the full story Feb. 24: ISC working on 'significant plan' for safer barriers In the wake of Kyle Busch 's severe crash and resulting injuries during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway , International Speedway Corporation announces a plan to expand its use of impact-diffusing barriers at its 12 tracks. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Joe Gibbs says Busch's surgery went well Team owner Joe Gibbs gives an update on Kyle Busch 's status after surgery and says he is 'resting comfortably.' Doctors reported that things went well with surgery on Busch's lower right leg. " Read the full story Feb. 22: Samantha Busch gives update from hospital Samantha Busch posts a selfie with Kyle Busch from his hospital bed on Twitter with a tweet saying, "Getting ready to watch the Daytona 500 ! Cheering on our 18 boys!" " Read the full story Feb. 21: Drivers wish Kyle Busch well after hard hit Kyle Busch is taken to the hospital by ambulance after a big wreck during the XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway . Fellow drivers sent well-wishes via Twitter. " Read the full story Feb. 21: Hard hit sidelines Kyle Busch for Daytona 500 A crash in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race caused NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch to miss the Daytona 500 after suffering injuries to his right leg and left foot a day before the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway . " Read the full story