Less than three months after breaking his leg and foot in a crash during an Xfinity Series race in Daytona, Kyle Busch will return to NASCAR this weekend. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will make his first Sprint Cup start this season during the All-Star Race on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Oh, and his return video was epic.
And with that, #RowdyReturns passed along news that every Kyle Busch fan has been waiting for all season. Busch’s return comes a little over a week after reports surfaced that he had returned to a stock car and would race at Hickory Motor Speedway.
While those initial reports were not completely true, they did forecast that Busch would make his 2015 Sprint Cup debut this Saturday. Even with Busch missing the first 11 races of the Sprint Cup season, NASCAR CEO Brian France has already stated he’ll likely give him a waiver for the Chase.
“Depends on when he comes back of course, but it’ll be more likely than not that we’re going to try to figure out how to accommodate him, which is the beauty of our playoff system,” France said. “What happened to him was on us. We’ll balance a lot of things at that point when we have to make a decision, but we’re inclined to want to figure that out for sure.”
***UPDATE*** Busch has been granted a waiver by NASCAR for the Chase. He will still have to fulfill all of the qualifications—finishing in the top 30 in points with a win—but can do so without starting the first 11 events. It’s a decision that will likely be met with criticism and praise, but the right one for the sport.
“On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, it’s great to have Kyle Busch back racing,” NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said in a statement. “Our decision to grant Kyle a waiver that allows him to continue running for a championship is one we discussed extensively. The spirit of the rule never was designed to punish drivers who are unable to compete due to extenuating circumstances such as recovering from a racing accident.”
Busch is currently 179 points behind Tony Stewart, who is 30th in points. With only 15 points races remaining before the Chase—the All-Star Race is an exhibition—Busch will still be hard pressed to reach NASCAR’s postseason even with a win.
That’s what makes the potential waiver from NASCAR so crucial. If Busch can clinch victory and finish inside the top 30, the JGR driver has a much easier path to the Chase. As one of the biggest faces in the sport, simply having Busch back in Charlotte, the home track for JGR, is massive for NASCAR.
Three Tweets: Busch Press Conference
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) May 12, 2015
Busch says Sam’s due date is the 22nd. His intent is to be present for birth, and being in Charlotte next 2 weeks makes it easier.
— Jenna Fryer (@JennaFryer) May 12, 2015
Kyle Busch says he plans to work his way back to running multiple series. Plan to concentrate on Cup for time-being, tho.
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) May 12, 2015
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