Kyle Busch: No timetable for return but wants to race NASCAR again by July


Kyle Busch said there’s no timeframe for returning to NASCAR after breaking his right leg and fracturing his left foot in a Feb. 21 crash at Daytona International Speedway. But he hopes to be back in his No. 18 Toyota when the Sprint Cup circuit returns to Daytona for the July 4 holiday weekend.

“First and foremost, I’ve got to please my doctors, and they say my recovery is going faster than they expected,” Busch said Wednesday during his first news conference since the crash. “They won’t release me a timetable. It’s week by week and what I can show them I can do.”

Busch walked onto a stage at Joe Gibbs Racing, sat behind a Macbook computer and calmly dissected the wreck frame by frame, which happened during the Xfinity Series season opener. He revealed his Toyota was traveling 90 mph on its impact with the inside wall and said the crash , which registered 90 Gs, was the heaviest of his NASCAR career.

The wall was unprotected by a SAFER barrier, prompting safety reviews for Daytona and virtually every track on the circuit. Many have reacted by adding SAFER and tire barriers.

“I’m not going to say I’m happy about the wall I hit not being protected,” Busch said. “I’m disappointed that wall wasn’t covered, but I’m encouraged by the steps and actions the tracks have taken.

“If there’s a wall that needs a tire barrier, put one there. But it can’t be constructed overnight. I understand that. We’re all hoping sooner rather than later.”

Busch said he was conscious throughout the crash and knew his leg was broken upon impact. He said he tried to turn the car into a slide and was surprised when the car continued straight without scrubbing off speed. The car was traveling at 176 mph when it left the racing surface and Busch slammed the brakes.

He said his left foot was on the brake pedal and his right leg was “floating” when he hit the wall.

Busch said the crash began when he tried to push JGR teammate Erik Jones through a gap. Jones began to spin, and the turbulent air caused Busch to lose control without making contact with another car.

“The wreck was essentially all my fault,” Busch said. “I was being greedy.”

Because NASCAR restricts testing in its national series, Busch said he will test a car from his Late Model team when he receives clearance from doctors. “I probably will do a couple of tests at least and see how it goes to determine my readiness for Cup,” he said.

Busch is hoping to receive a waiver from NASCAR that would make him eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup if he can win a race and stay in the top 30 in the standings.

Though his mobility still is limited, he seemed in good spirits.

“I feel OK,” he said. “It’s week by week, but I’m coming along well. I’m working out every day in the gym.

Busch said NASCAR still was examining his wrecked car for possible improvements, but he credited his safety devices in the cockpit.

“From the knees up, there was not a mark on me, and there was not a neckache or a headache,” he said.

Busch said among the first visitors at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, Fla., was his former JGR teammate, Tony Stewart, who stayed for a few hours after the Daytona 500.

There is a December surgery scheduled for Busch to remove a plate and screws from his left foot.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly clouldy with a high of 74 degrees and a 9% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying is at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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NASCAR Saturday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


Saturday will be a busy day at Circuit of the Americas, as all three national series are on the track.

Cup will qualify ahead of the Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series races.

The forecast Saturday calls for sunny conditions and no chance of rain all day. The high is expected to be 69 degrees during Cup qualifying, 76 degrees at the start of the Truck race and 81 degrees for the start of the Xfinity race.

Zane Smith looks to win his second consecutive Truck race at the road course in Austin, Texas. AJ Allmendinger seeks his second consecutive Xfinity win at COTA.

Saturday, March 25

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m.  — Truck Series
  • 2 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (42 laps, 143 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 5 p.m. — Xfinity race (46 laps, 156 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.