NASCAR driver Kurt Busch already has a busy schedule crossing the country every weekend to compete in the Monster Energy Cup Series. This summer, he's added a few additional dates to his schedule during the week as he'll be headlining this year's GRX Rally as one of the VIP drivers.
The rally, in its 10th year, is set to cross the country making various stops along the way. It begins in Boston on Friday, June 22nd and wraps up in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1st. Busch hasn't been able to make it work in previous years due to his NASCAR schedule, but this year the stars aligned (literally with Bill Goldberg and Ronnie Mund, aka Ronnie the limo driver set to drive for Busch to start the event) and he's excited to have the chance to participate.
"For me, I've never really had the perfect schedule, so I rounded up as many buddies as I could find, including a couple celebrities, that way they can drive on the weekend and I'll drive during the weekdays," said Busch in a phone interview Tuesday. "We're going to have a damn good time. Ford helped deliver my GT a little bit quicker and that's the perfect type of car for a rally like this."
Speaking of that car, Busch will be driving the new 2018 Ford GT, customized to mimic his NASCAR car for the four legs of the event that he'll be participating in. After getting the chance to put some miles on the car already, he's ready to get it out onto the track and open up the throttle a bit more to satiate his inner speed demon.
"It's incredible. I've got about a thousand miles on it so far and it's ready for it's first tack day which is going to be part of the rally," said Busch. "That way we can stretch her legs out a little bit. Just the sheer power and the connection to the motorsports sportscar heritage, that's what Ford delivered in this car."
The 2018 Ford GT '67 Heritage Edition on display at the 2017 LA Auto Show on November 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California, on the second of 3 press days before the event opens to the public from December 1-10, 2017. Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
While the fast cars and iconic landmarks in each city are a big part of the draw for the event, the rally also has a cause that it will benefit. GRX Rally has partnered with the Taylor Lynn Foundation with the funds from the event going straight to the foundation. For Busch, that's the ideal way to support a great cause.
"What makes it important to me is when we're able to have fun and raise money for a good cause at the same time because that's when it's really easy and organic," said Busch. "With my friend Jeff and the Taylor Lynn Foundation, the basis of it is that they're small micro-grants, between $100 and $500 can be making huge impacts for these kids in their after school programs, field trips, music lessons. What makes it great is the twist that the child who receives the grant will then pay it back forward by making a piece of art or coming up with a gift in return to help symbolize the connection between the two people. It's great because, heck, I can drive somebody's car around, they pay a thousand bucks and it goes straight to the foundation."
Busch won't be part of the entire tour due to the NASCAR schedule, but he will be making four stops, in Pittsburgh, Detroit, St. Louis and Memphis. When asked which stop he's looking forward to the most, it was a pretty easy answer: the Motor City.
"For me, I'm really looking forward to Detroit. It's the home of Ford with Dearborn, Michigan being close by," said Busch. "There's also a casino night that night, fireworks, and that's just the good part of the Midwest when it comes to cars so Detroit is probably going to be my favorite stop."
The 2018 GRX Rally kicks off in Boston on Friday, June 22nd and then hits the following cities:
Saturday June 23rd- New York, NY
Sunday, July 24th- Pittsburgh, PA
Monday, June 25th- Detroit, MI
Tuesday, June 26th- St. Louis, MO
Wednesday, June 27th- Memphis, TN
Thursday, June 28th- Dallas, TX
Friday, June 29th- Albuquerque, NM
Sunday, July 1st- Las Vegas, NV
For more information on fan experiences and the rally itself, head to their website.
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