Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
On Wednesday Kyle Busch met with the media. The press conference was announced Monday by Joe Gibbs Racing and confirmed by NASCAR.com. The announcement that Busch was going to meet with the media came with optimism from his fans and supporters. Since the accident back in February Busch has for the most part only been seen via social media. It was through social media that fans saw him progress in his recovery and eventually saw him in a photo last weekend where he was standing without any casts.
Below you will find a quick breakdown of the press conference. All of the important talking points and noteworthy things are mentioned.
- Kyle was in a boot but walked onto the stage.
- Busch opened the presser by thanking his wife Samantha for all of her love and support of him. Busch noted that the silver lining was spending more time with her and preparing for the arrival of their son. He also thanked family and friends and the NASCAR community including drivers, teammates, sponsors and fans.
- He called the response from the fans “amazing.”
- Busch then took us through the crash as it happened by showing a video, he noted that he was awake and alert through the entire wreck.
- He called it the “hardest” hit that he has ever had in NASCAR competition.
- Busch points out during the video that it was the air that spun him and that he didn’t make any contact with the No. 20 or No. 42 cars on the track. Busch acknowledged that he thought for a brief moment that he made it through the wreck.
- He admits that he thought “oh no” when he realized that his car wasn’t slowing down or turning. He talks about how he braced for the impact when the car hit the grass and admits that he forgot to take his leg off of the brake.
- He left the racing surface at 176 MPH and hit the wall at 90 MPH and 90 G’s.
- Busch said he knew instantly that his right leg broke because there was a sharp pain. He wanted to sit there and wait but there was a fire in the car and he knew that he had to get out. Busch said he knew to get to the door because he knew the NASCAR crew would be there to assist him. Busch said the first rescue worker seemed shocked when he told him that his right leg and left foot were broken.
- He says the wreck was his fault and it’s the nature of the beast. He wishes another car hit him because it would have been safer for him.
Busch and JGR then open the floor to questions. Below are the highlights of those Q and A section.
- Busch was asked about his complete recollection of the events and noted that from the day after he was able to recall everything and he never had a lapse in memory of what happened.
- Busch was asked if he would change his racing style and not be greedy – he talked about racing being fate and luck in regards to how things turn out on the track.
- Busch was asked about his trip to the R&D center where NASCAR showed him his wrecked car – Busch noted that he was taken aback by how compressed the car was. He noted that NASCAR is still analyzing the wreckage and collecting data.
- Busch jokes that he is going to go into a career of RC Racing but acknowledges that he will be back. Busch notes that he is alive today because of NASCAR’s safety innovations from the knees up.
- Busch was asked about a timetable for his return – he noted that he needs to appease his doctors and not push the limits. He notes that his recovery is ahead of schedule but admits that the doctors haven’t and won’t give him a timetable for him getting back. He notes that it’s a week by week thing and the time is eventually coming. Busch presumes that he could be back by Daytona in July but still doesn’t want to give a timetable and push the natural healing process.
- Busch was asked about SAFER barriers – he admits he wasn’t happy that the wall that he hit wasn’t protected. He talks about how important safety is and that he appreciates the steps taken since his wreck. Busch notes that he understands there is a timetable to install such walls and safety features.
- Busch asked if he ever felt sorry for himself and if JD has impacted his way of thinking – he says that he never felt sorry for himself. He does note that he feels bad for fans and sponsors and supporters. Busch notes in reference to JD that things could have been a lot worse and he is thankful that they weren’t.
- Busch talks about how bone growth is going well and that’s appeasing his doctors.
- Busch was asked if he hopes to be chase eligible when he returns – he says that he hopes to be eligible but doesn’t know if making the top-30 will be feasible. He also notes that he hopes NASCAR will take his situation into consideration when it comes to the top-30 rules.
- Busch talked about how he looked at the wall that he hit prior to the start of the race and thought how much it would hurt to wreck into it. He then of course hit that wall later in the race.
- Busch noted that he appreciates when NASCAR listens to drivers about safety concerns.
- Busch was asked about David Ragan – he gave huge props to Matt Crafton and Ragan. He noted how great of a job that Ragan has done but also pointed out the JGR is still a bit behind as a team.
- Busch was asked about how fortunate he is and he noted how blessed he is to be here and how Samantha still has moments of struggle thinking about what could have been and what could have happened.
- Busch was asked about racing in other series in the future – he noted that his focus today is just the Sprint Cup Series. He talked about how it’s kind of like starting over and he has reasons to pursue races in other series but he will need to work up to getting into cars outside of the Sprint Cup Series.
- Busch is asked about how he will test with NASCAR’s not testing rule – he talks about how he will test in a late model car somewhere when the doctors give him the okay to get into a car.
- When asked about how he spent his time not being able to walk he noted that TV, video games and visitors filled his time up.
- Busch talked about how everyday is a moral victory in his recovery process.
- Busch was asked about future surgeries and he said he has a surgery scheduled in December to remove screws from his foot.
- When asked about talking to Tony Stewart – he notes that Stewart was the first person to visit him in the hospital. He also talked about how their injuries are totally different as Stewart’s was far worse.
- Busch was asked if the thought of leaving racing ever entered his mind – he said it never once crossed his mind. He did note that he thought his injuries might keep him down but the doctors reassured him right away that he would be as good as new.
- Busch as asked about Brad Keselowski’s blog – he said he guesses that he read it but isn’t sure what he read. He said it was good for him to write it but timing was poor. Busch acknowledges that he doesn’t recollect some of the events that Keselowski points out in the blog. Busch does note that he did think Kes was “making an ass” out of himself early in his career when he was wrecking people each week.