Kurt Busch’s recovery continues; he retains hopes to race again Daytona Truck race results, driver points Zane Smith wins rain-shortened Daytona Truck Series opener Jimmie Johnson: Fast on the track, faster in the air Ford, Chevrolet executives say F1 programs won’t hurt NASCAR efforts

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida. The racing is almost the same for Kurt Bush today, with one major exception. He’s not inside the race car.

“I’m in my second week here on the track, and now there is no question where my role is,” Busch said Friday at Daytona International Speedway. “It’s all over the team. It’s like I’m doing the same thing, except I’m wearing a radio instead of a helmet.”

Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, has not driven a race car since he suffered a head injury on July 23 when his car crashed into a wall during a qualifying lap at Pocono Raceway. A few days later, a long recovery process began, which continues despite the fact that Busch works as a consultant for the 23XI Racing team and fulfills various sponsorship obligations.

MORE: Daytona 500 disappoints many seasoned drivers

Bush’s crash and other problems with the new Next Gen car led NASCAR to look at the car’s design and its ability to absorb hard impacts, especially rear-end contact.

Bush said Friday that he and his doctors believe he will make a full recovery, but doubts remain whether he will race again, and if so, at what level.

“I just know I’m not 100% ready to race these guys at this level,” he said. “Can I go to the club race (Sports Car Club of America) next week? Probably not wise. It’s just that when I keep my head in the headrest and with this movement, it bothers me. I have made progress since August and I believe a full recovery will come. But the balance and movement of the eyes is now interesting.”

Bush said he worked seven days a week with physical therapists, but cut that schedule down to two days.

“Everyday life is normal,” he said. “The physical therapists switched my workouts a bit to the balance mat. Associated with the strength of the core. It’s tiresome. I notice things that inspire me and then break me down. I have a day off and a day off.

“Honestly, I took a December vacation. It was an emotional time and it’s also part of that process.”

MORE: Frankie Muniz wants to show he belongs in racing

While Busch, 44, is clinging to the idea that he can race again, he also seems to have accepted the possibility that his fast tarmac career could be over.

“I’m happy with how it went,” he said. “I would just like to go and drive cars. Let’s see how things turn out. Whether it’s my decision or someone from above, I don’t care. I am very happy and satisfied. To be able to race in this sport for 23 years and hit all the high and low notes – I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

“It’s a Hollywood final to get pole on the last lap. I smile about it. I’m happy with it.”

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida. An unfortunate rain finally forced an early end to the Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway to become series champion. Zane Smith received a win.

The weather, which kept the race track in thick fog, hampered the race for most of the journey, and NASCAR officially announced it at 11:12 pm ET with 21 of 100 laps to go. Smith held the lead.

Smith also won the first Daytona tournament last year.

MORE: Daytona Truck Results

MORE: Daytona Truck Driver Glasses

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Zane Smith won Friday night’s rubble-strewn, rain-cut opener of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Daytona International Speedway.

Smith was ahead when NASCAR named 21 laps out of a planned 100 as an official race. The race ended at 11:12 pm ET.

Smith, last year’s Truck Series champion, wins the inaugural Daytona for the second year in a row.

MORE: Daytona Truck Results, Driver Points

“I know there are about a million ways to get it in Dayton, but we’re proving it,” Smith said. “Obviously I wanted to go back there to compete with my good friends really, but hey, we’ll win in Dayton any day we can get it. Just a huge hello to everyone at Front Row Motorsports. This whole group, I’ve said it over and over, they’re working hard and proving it. Making the playoffs is like a repeat of last year.”

Following Smith at the finish line were Tanner Gray, Christian Eckes, Colby Howard And Grant Enfinger. Smith led the last 15 laps and 17 in total.

MORE: Kurt Busch Continues to Exercise as His Recovery Continues

“We want to win and I think it’s time to do it,” Gray said of his second-place finish. “Obviously given how our night went, the second night was good for us. The race is not as smooth as we would like.”

Former Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott was 10th and extreme sports star Travis Pastrana, who is due to make his Cup Series debut at the Daytona 500 Sunday, was 13th.

The trucks remained on the track as it began to rain lightly at the start of the race, but officials parked the field on pit road under red flag conditions as the downpours on the 2.5-mile track intensified with 27 laps to go. Smith was leading the race at the time.

After a delay, the trucks cautiously returned to the track, but downpours and persistent lingering fog forced them to pit again six laps later, and NASCAR declared the race official a few minutes later. For an hour, the trucks stood under a red flag.

An accident involving several trucks on the way back prompted a warning at the end of the second leg. Stuart Friesen, racing outside closer to the front, attempted to block, but ended up crashing into the outer wall. Several trucks turned around behind him.

MORE: Daytona 500 disappoints many seasoned drivers

Clay Greenfield lost control of his truck in a three wide lap race on lap 28 and provoked a six car crash. Hayley DeeganThe truck was severely damaged in the incident. The wreckage of the crash caused an alarming delay.

“I saw 84 (Greenfield) from the side and it was almost there,” Deegan said. “I saw him go down the path, so I went up. It was an instant decision. You just go right or left and they end up bouncing off another truck, so that’s what it is. We know the Daytona is one of those races where you either finish in the top ten or end up in a trailer home.”

The middle lane also turned out to be the wrong route for Karut diagramwho had an accident after losing control of his truck with 42 laps to go while trying to drive through the middle.

Stage 1 winnerStory by: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Tyler Ankrum

Who had a good race: Zane Smith had a strong truck throughout the race and pulled ahead when it threatened to rain. … Christian Eckes finished third and won the first stage.

Who had a bad race: Multi-truck crash on lap 28 resulted in Haley Deegan, Dean Thompson and Clay Greenfield parked their cars for the night. … Stuart Friesen was strong in the middle of the race but lost control of his truck as it raced to the finish line of stage two, prompting a multi-truck crash. … Rookie Raja Karut was involved in a multi-truck crash on lap 58.

Next: The Truck Series is moving to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the race will take place on March 3rd.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker