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)
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>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.