The Sprint Cup Series’ summer hiatus happens to fall on Father’s Day weekend. Instead of being at the track, drivers and teams have scattered to their homes, local dirt tracks or even Chicagoland Speedway for the rain delayed Xfinity Series race.
In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a look at what it means for NASCAR’s stars and how they’re spending the day with their dads and families or passing on racing to their children.
All quotes are from team press releases unless otherwise noted.
Today Matt Kenseth will watch his son Ross Kenseth make his Xfinity Series debut at Chicagoland Speedway.
“My father (Tom Busch), he’s probably number one,” Busch said. “He and my mom just taking all of their resources and money and everything to help Kurt (Busch) and I get farther along in our careers in Las Vegas through Dwarf cars, Legends cars, Modifieds, whatever it was. Modifieds was about as far as we could go as a family – that was all we could afford.
“Then, past that was Jerry Spilsbury – he used to own an air conditioning company back in Las Vegas and he had a Late Model team out at the speedway the year before I ran. It was a one-car team and then, the year I ran, we actually became a three-car team. Jerry spent a lot of money, employed my father and just allowed me to succeed in winning 10 of 15 Late Model races (when Kyle was 15) – we finished second in three, third once and broke a rear-end gear in the other one while leading. We were plenty fast and through racing that car that year, I think a lot of people took notice that Kurt Busch’s little brother back in Vegas was pretty good, and that’s all history now.”
“Probably the first 10 years of my life in racing, we (he and father Nelson) raced together with our go-karts. I would say probably our greatest memory is the first Grand Nationals that we went to in Iowa together. We won out there, and I think it was about 4 o’clock in the morning when we finally finished. I was 12 years old, so it was way past my bedtime, but it was the first time I had seen that much excitement in my father’s face. I guess he realized more at the time what we had accomplished than what I realized had happened.”
“Father’s Day, just like Mother’s Day, is a very important day to love and take a moment to share that in a special way to your dad. Fathers are super important no matter what you’re doing and where you’re at, whether you’re in NASCAR or not. I know that definitely in racing there are a lot of dads who have played a big part in helping get their child to the level they’re at.
“My dad (T.J. Patrick) was definitely a huge part of me getting to where I am in racing. Aside from that, dads are just important, in general. It’s a nice day to get a card and write something special, say something special or do something special for your dad.”
Gordon is already passing on his love of racing to his kids. Here, Gordon is seen earlier this week with his daughter, Ella, in her own quarter-midget racecar.
On Saturday, Gordon visited his old stomping grounds in California, including the quarter-midget track he first raced on.
While it won’t be on Father’s Day, it was announced this week that Chase Elliott, the son of Bill Elliott, would sport a special paint scheme in this year’s Southern 500. Elliott, racing in his last Sprint Cup race of 2015 before taking over the No. 24 from Gordon next year, will have a paint scheme resembling the one used by Bill Elliott when he won the “Winston Million” at Darlington Raceway in 1985.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Check back for more throughout the day….