NASCAR driver Kyle Busch is lucky to be alive today, and he credits it all to NASCAR’s safety equipment.
The 35-year-old racecar driver took responsibility for a Feb. 21, 2015 multi-car wreck that left him with a compound fracture of his right leg and a left mid-foot fracture. Both injuries required surgery.
Kyle Busch Lived Thanks to NASCAR’s Innovations
Busch willingly reviewed the wreck frame by frame for reporters, The News & Observer reported in 2015. And he said he can thank NASCAR’s safety measures for the fact that the crash wasn’t much worse.
“I’m alive today just because the fact that the restraints worked, the seat worked, the HANS device worked – everything worked,” Busch said. “I can’t say enough about NASCAR and their innovations. From my knees up, no problem, not a mark on me, not a bruise, not a headache, not a neck ache, nothing.”
“It was just a matter of your flailing feet when you’re in a wreck like that,” he added.
Busch acknowledged that the wreck was set off by his efforts to push JGR teammate Erik Jones.
“From the beginning, the wreck was essentially all my fault,” he said. “I was being greedy trying to win the race.”
Later analysis showed Busch’s car was going 176 mph when it flew off the surface of the track. At the time of impact, it was going 90 mph. Busch’s car plunged into a concrete wall that was missing NASCAR’s energy-absorbing SAFER barriers.
Sidelined By the Wreck
After the wreck, Busch wondered if he would ever race again.
“It stinks to be sitting on the sideline,” he said. But “it hasn’t been traumatic; it had been a very difficult time in the beginning, but we dealt with it.”
But he would go on to win the 2015 and 2019 Cup Series championships.
In the aftermath of that wreck, multiple NASCAR tracks added safety barriers to their concrete walls.
NASCAR also reviewed each track’s safety measures and suggested changes where applicable.
“If there’s a wall that needs a tire barrier, put one there. But it can’t be constructed overnight. I understand that,” Busch said at the time. “We’re all hoping sooner rather than later.”
As for Busch’s recent exploits, he’s been training his son Brexton for the racecar driving life. Per Essentially Sports, little Brexton has been racing in the Beginner Box Stock Car Series. And he has racked up a number of wins already.