Kyle Busch continues to surprise … if not amaze.
First, he came back to race a Sprint Cup car just 84 days after suffering a broken right leg and fractured left foot in the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona on Feb. 21.
Second, Busch isn’t showing any lingering results from his big wreck.
Third, Busch showed this weekend that he’s truly ready to get back to racing.
Not only was he the fastest in Friday’s practice session, Busch ran competitively in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race, finishing sixth.
“It was really good (to be back racing),” Busch said after Saturday’s race. “I learned some things. I think we also learned some stuff – myself and (crew chief) Adam Stevens – about this race car for me and getting around here in Charlotte. So we can take some of that next week and look forward to the Coke 600.
“All in all it was a good evening. We were clicking off some spots, moving ourselves forward. I felt really good about things. I got busted for speeding on pit road. In that same segment, we ended up having a loose wheel. At least it was two things biting us in one segment, not two things biting us in different segments. That was a real positive.
“(It was) real fortunate just to get back in the race car, to get out there and feel things out. Otherwise everything felt good and getting to pit road, all that, everything was fine.”
Although Busch has worked extensively at rehabilitating from his crash injuries, he expected some residual affect from his first race back in nearly three months.
“I’ll be sore for a couple days, just muscles that haven’t been woken up like this in a little while,” he said. “It’s nothing new. Typically I get that in the beginning of the year anyway. It takes a few weeks to kind of get warmed up to things, your body to kind of settle in.
“Being out of the race car the longest I’ve ever been in my career, it’s a wake-up call for myself to get back rolling. Other than that, I just feel fine. I never was out of breath at all during the race or through the runs or anything like that. That was a good thing.”
After a career-worst injury, some drivers might be slightly apprehensive to climb back into a race car.
“I was not worried about it,” he said. “But, you know, when you’re working out and doing things, doing therapy and whatnot, the therapist tells you, ‘Your cardio is really bad.’ It’s definitely gotten better over the last month, but I wasn’t sure how great it was going to be yet. It felt really good.
“From here on out, there’s only going to be an upward swing, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Busch admitted he’s somewhat concerned about his overall endurance. He just went through the shortest race of the year only to come back a week from now in the sport’s longest, the Coca-Cola 600.
“As far as endurance goes for next week, I felt like I got out of the car after a hundred laps and I’m fine,” he said. “Am I going to die out after 200 or 300 (laps in the 600)? I don’t know. The plan is to go the full distance.”