Kyle Busch returns with a strong statement at Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 15:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Red Nose Day Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 15: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Red Nose Day Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 15, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch turned his first laps in a NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar since February Friday.  Busch returned to the track after recovering from injuries he sustained in a crash at the end of the NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway on February 21.  In the crash, Busch suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and broke his left foot.

Busch missed the Daytona 500 and a total of 11 Sprint Cup races. After intensive rehab, Busch announced this week that he would return to competition starting with Saturday night’s All-Star Race at Charlotte. With a short, non-points, race, Busch reasoned that the All-Star event is a good place to get back in a Sprint Cup car. With a ban on testing instituted by NASCAR, the only way Busch was able to test was in a late model car. Friday marked the first time Busch was able to get back behind the wheel of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota since Daytona. The car was raced by Matt Crafton at Daytona, then by David Ragan for nine events; Erik Jones raced the car last week at Kansas.

Friday Busch made quite the statement as he led the practice for Saturday night’s All-Star event with a lap of  188.884 mph. Shortly after the practice, Busch met with the media.

“It felt really good,” Busch said. MORE>>>

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