Busch Happy to Return, Waits on Baby Busch
Kyle Busch was happy to return to the seat of his race car on Friday as practice was held for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It didn't take long for Busch to get back to form, but he was just as intently preparing for the birth of wife Samatha's first child.
"I was optimistic about coming back and getting in some laps here at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Busch. "Our car was fast. It was good to see all my guys, and just kind of get things to fall back in. You know, just trying to get a feel for the seat since I hadn't been behind the wheel in a while. As far as I was concerned, everything went according to plan. We made some adjustments to get in that mock qualifying run. We were able to put a fast time up, but I'm not sure everybody else made that kind of effort. I was definitely excited to see that seat."
Busch noted the biggest adjustment was getting acclimated back to the car.
"I think the biggest thing was just getting back the feel of the race car," said Busch. "These race cars have been changing quite honestly. Just trying to get a feel for what all was going on there and what I had to drive. The seat was an adjustment for me. I'm not used to the carbon seat at all; I have never run one. We had to tinker with it a little bit there and tinker with it now to just try and make it a little bit better for me for the long haul, especially for next week."
Charlotte was also a goal for Busch to return to competition.
"There were some nervous days in Daytona where I was counting the weeks," said Busch. "And I was like, 'I could probably come back at Talladega,' and that would definitely be pushing it. And then I thought that wouldn't be very smart of me to come back at Talladega. And then Kansas was the next one. And I thought, you know what, I don't know if I want that one either, so Charlotte looks really good. And so far it seems to be a good choice coming back here. I think it was always kind of a goal, just depended on how hard we pushed getting ready for it."
Busch also is excited about soon becoming a father.
"Samantha and I got up together like we always do and had breakfast." said Busch, "I told her she better keep her legs crossed and do whatever she had to do today and tomorrow, so we could keep baby Busch inside for 48 more hours. Besides that, it was a nice moment as I was getting ready and what we had is all over with all the trials and tribulations, and learning how to walk again, it was all over. We could now get back to our normal routine."
Kahne Hopes Sprint Car Team is Fast for Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown
During Kasey Kahne's media availability at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Kahne was focused on his entire 10 Days of Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway, not just this weekend's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. He and his sprint car team are focused on the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway next Friday.
"We always run pretty good at Charlotte," said Kahne. "We always look forward to it. We haven't been fast lately, but hopefully next Friday we'll be fast. If we get a track like we did last fall for the World Finals, we would be all right. I'm not running in the showdown, but I wish I could run it."
Performance Racing Network Broadcaster Will Make History with the "Doug Double"
Memorial Day Weekend has traditionally showcased two of motorsports most prestigious events, the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500. Only a handful of drivers have attempted to race in both events, which are held on the same day.
Doug Rice, president of Performance Racing Network, is set to become the first broadcaster to complete the double, covering the Indy 500 from pit road in Indianapolis and then co-anchor the Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway that same evening.
"I have been attending races here at Charlotte Motor Speedway since 1980, either as a fan or a broadcaster," said Rice. "This is something I've wanted to do for a very long time. With help from Shell, they are going to whisk me down to the Concord airport and hopefully I will get here in time when they drop the green flag. We are very, very thrilled in the anticipation of getting that done. It will be a long day, but it will be worth it."
Shell Oil Company is helping to provide the logistical support to get Rice from Indianapolis to Concord, North Carolina.
NASCAR driver Joey Logano, who is sponsored by Shell Oil Company in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was also on hand to explain what racing on Memorial Day weekend and for Roger Penske was meant.
"Memorial Day has always been a special day," said Logano. "Growing up, you always remember racing on Memorial Day, even back in quarter midgets. The Coca-Cola 600 and the Indy 500 were the two big races. I always wanted to race in the Coca-Cola 600. And to see what Charlotte Motor Speedway does for our military, they always do something really big to say 'thank you' to our military. It is a big day. You wake up in the morning and get ready and watch the Indy 500 and then get ready to race in the Coca-Cola 600. And then Doug Rice, how cool is this, he gets to go up there and broadcast the Indy 500 and the do the 600 here. That is obviously very challenging. That is a lot of talking."
Performance Racing Network is also a subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports Inc.