CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Busch will run the All-Star race this weekend, his first competition since he was seriously injured in a crash at Daytona nearly three month ago.
Busch will drive his No. 18 Toyota in Saturday night's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He tweeted "I'm back. #RowdyReturns" early Tuesday along with a 24-second video of him in his fire suit and pulling down the visor of his helmet.
Busch broke his right leg and left foot in a Feb. 21 wreck in the season-opening Xfinity Series race, crashing into a wall that was not protected by an energy-absorbing SAFER barrier at 90 mph. He said his car left the racing surface and headed toward the wall at 176 mph, and even though he was able to slow it, he knew the impact was likely going to break one leg.
Although Busch removed his right foot from the brake pedal, the impact with the wall was so hard, both his helmet and chest slammed into his steering wheel. Busch said the throttle stop was pushed back closer to him and smacked his right leg, breaking it.
The injuries caused Busch to miss the season-opening Daytona 500 and 11 total Sprint Cup races. His Joe Gibbs Racing entry was driven by Matt Crafton at Daytona, then David Ragan for nine events and 18-year-old Erik Jones drove it Saturday night at Kansas.
There was speculation that Busch was close to returning when Jones said two weeks ago JGR officials had only discussed the Kansas race with the development driver. Gibbs confirmed Busch had tested a late model car, suggesting he would be back for the two Charlotte race weeks. The Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the NASCAR schedule, runs May 24.
Busch will return to the track in a Cup car in Friday's practice sessions for the All-Star race.
Busch, who turned 30 earlier this month, is awaiting the birth of his first child. He and wife, Samantha, are expecting a boy later this month.
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