By AMANDA VINCENT
Kyle Busch is back and plans to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series return May 16 in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch posted a video via his Twitter account (KyleBusch) that showed him putting on his racing shoes, firesuit and gloves and ended with a black screen that read, “#RowdyReturns May 16.” That video was attached to a tweet that read, “I’m back. #RowdyReturns.”
After Busch’s tweet, Joe Gibbs Racing released an official announcement, confirming that Busch has been medically cleared to race. The statement read:
“Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity, beginning with Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 18 M&Ms Red Nose Day Toyota.”
Busch has been sidelined by injury the entire Sprint Cup season, to this point. Because of a hard impact with a portion of the retaining wall at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway that was not protected by a SAFER barrier during the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener on Feb. 21, Busch sustained fractures in both his right leg and left foot. That race was the day before the Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the season for the Sprint Cup Series. While Busch has yet to compete in a 2015 points-paying Cup race, he did run the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race and Budweiser Duel Daytona 500 qualifying race.
Busch underwent surgery on both the leg and foot injuries in February. He also underwent foot surgery during the offseason.
Two-time reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton substituted for Busch behind the wheel of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series for the Daytona 500. David Ragan then took over subbing duties in the No. 18, until Truck Series regular and part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor Erik Jones was named the new interim driver of the No. 18 prior to last weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway.
Busch has missed 11 points-paying races. There has been no announcement from NASCAR, yet, regarding an issuance of a Chase for the Sprint Cup eligibility waiver, etc.
Busch recently has tested a Kyle Busch Motorsports late model.