While Kurt Busch had a busy offseason that included competing in the Race of Champions in Miami, his most memorable moment had nothing to with racing.
It came on Jan. 9 when Busch saw his wife, Ashley Van Metre, walking down the aisle during their wedding in Saint Barthélemy, a Caribbean island.
“Getting a little choked up,” Busch said while recounting the moment to NBC Sports during last month’s NASCAR Media Tour.
The newlyweds have publicly been together since February 2015 and Busch proposed in August 2015.
“Ever since the day that I met her, I knew that she was special and she’s been wonderful,” Busch said, adding the model “adapted so well” to life in the world of NASCAR thanks to being “a competitor herself.”
Ashley Busch, a native of Middleburg, Virginia, has played polo internationally for more than 14 years.
“Growing up, playing polo in fierce competitions across the world,” Busch said, “She knows how to travel, she knows competition and she’s so much of perfect support person for good racing days and bad racing days. She gets it all.
“We complete each other. Not just the sport side of it, but who we are as human beings.
“She’s so caring, so passionate and loving that I knew I needed to grow in some of those areas and she’s helped me to that and it’s been wonderful this season” Busch said.
While Busch’s competitor, Dale Earnhardt Jr., also was married recently, only Busch can say a singer named Steven Tyler performed at his.
Tyler made a surprise appearance during the Caribbean wedding. At first, Busch said his guests didn’t know they were being entertained by the genuine article.
“We wanted it as a surprise for everybody,” Busch said. “So we had a curtain in front of the stage area and when the curtain dropped everybody like, ‘Wow, that’s an awesome tribute band. They look great. No, no, he’s starting to sound like Steven Tyler.’
“About halfway through the first song people just rushed the stage and it turned into a full-on rock concert. It was a great feeling and it all came together through some of my connections with Monster Energy.”
Busch said the surprise concert originated from meeting the right people during a post-race tailgate at Talladega Superspeedway last year.
“You make a phone call on Monday and the next thing you know Steven Tyler says, ‘Yeah, I like NASCAR. Yeah, I like the Busch brothers. I’ll come out and do it’,” Busch said