Busch Overcomes Broken Leg to Win NASCAR Title
Kyle Busch won his 34th race Sunday in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead, Fla., and because of that he won the NASCAR Spring Cup championship. It was a dramatic ending to a season that started out badly. After an early season crash, very few gambling on NASCAR would have predicted him winning it all. Busch suffered a broken leg back in February in a racing accident and then missed the next 11 races.
He won when it counted Sunday, and ironically, it may have been the accident that propelled him to his first NASCAR title. After the accident many people around him said he seemed more focused and became frustrated less easily. His leg and right foot were broken. He had to learn to walk again, once the pain subsided and he was on the road to recovery. At the time, winning the championship may have seemed out of reach, as he was happy to just be recovering from a bad accident.
But returning was never a question, and Busch felt good about gambling on NASCAR, and was eager to get to racing again. After healing up and returning to the circuit, he raced relentlessly and had his best season to date. At age 30, there could be more titles in his future. When gambling on NASCAR, keep the name Busch in mind.
After the race Sunday, Busch said, “I guess I feel more at peace a little bit.” There was a caution flag with 11 laps to go, and Busch started after the caution alongside leader Brad Keselowski, and took the lead quickly. He drove hard to the finish line and took the checkered flag. He led 41 laps on the day, and as close to the front the entire race.
It was his fifth win of the season, and he spoiled the finale of Jeff Gordon, who was in his last race after having announced his retirement. Gordon was close to the finish, and could also have won the title with a victory, but it was Busch’s day. His brother, Kurt, won a championship in 2004, and they are just the second brother combination to win NASCAR championships. Terry and Bobby Labonte are the other brothers to have won titles.
It was an unlikely championship considering his crash back in February at Daytona. But he returned in May, and had a waiver from NASCAR to compete for the title. He had to meet a couple of conditions though. He had to win a race and be in the top 30 in points by the close of the regular season at Richmond. He got a win at Sonoma Raceway, and then he won four of the next five he entered. He got into the top 30 in points in August at Watkins Glen International Raceway. In the elimination round he finished in the top five in four races to get to the final race Sunday.