Feb. 21 marks the beginning of the 2016 Sprint Cup season with the Dayton 500. It will also be the first anniversary of the Xfinity Series crash at Daytona International Speedway that injured Kyle Busch‘s right leg and his left foot.
The injuries sidelined Busch for the first 11 races of Sprint Cup season before he returned to race in the Sprint, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. But Busch, the 2015 Sprint Cup champion, didn’t compete in any restrictor plate races in either of the lower-tier series.
That’s a move that will continue into 2016 Busch said Tuesday at the NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I think the only thing that will change is just no more restrictor-plate racing for me in the Truck Series or in the Xfinity Series,” Busch said. “We’ll leave that to other drivers, and I’ll just focus on the race tracks that really matter. You don’t necessarily learn things that will help you on Sunday’s in restrictor-plate racing with the cars being so different. The aero packages and handling not really being that big of an issue. I’ll save those for other drivers.”
Joe Gibbs Racing’s lineup for the Xfinity Series includes Daniel Suarez in the No. 19, Erik Jones in the No. 20 and then the No. 18 car, which will be driven by Busch, Denny Hamlin and other drivers throughout the year.
Busch, who drove in 15 Xfinity races in 2015 after the injury and in 26 in the previous two seasons, said he will run between 15 and 18 Xfinity races in 2016.
“I think I’m going to pretty much do everything we’ve always done,” said Busch. “We’ve got a couple of handshake deals that are in place for the Xfinity Series, we don’t have anything signed or in stone yet so we haven’t announced anything. That’s what we’re waiting on there.”