Samantha Busch defends Chase waiver for Kyle Busch – Nascar
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Navigating through negative comments from detractors on social media is often a tough road. For Samantha Busch, criticism has been a much more personal topic of late, one that brings emotional timbres to her voice.
Her husband, Kyle Busch, hoisted the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship trophy for the first time Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, capping a stirring comeback season that opened with multiple severe leg injuries in a harrowing crash during the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway. Busch missed the first 11 races of the year as he recovered, returning to competition in mid-May with an exemption from NASCAR officials that kept him eligible for the title.
When that eligibility eventually resulted in his first premier-series championship, online naysayers renewed their scrutiny of a decision and a playoff format that kept Busch’s dreams intact. For Samantha Busch, that criticism hit home.
“The waiver is very emotional,” she said Monday night, moments after accepting accolades for her husband’s championship-winning team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ season-ending awards banquet. “First of all, it wasn’t just there for Kyle. It’s been used for other drivers. It’s been used for Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch and I believe Kyle Larson, so it’s not like something that was just invented for Kyle and this injury. So that’s the first thing that gets me a little emotional.
“But secondly, I think people just think, ‘Oh, he got to take 11 weeks off and so he’s more refreshed than other drivers.’ Absolutely wrong. He was sitting there trying to learn how to bend his toes, how to move his foot, how to stand up out of bed. It was not a walk in the park for him, it was not a vacation, and it was probably the hardest thing he’s ever done in his life, and not only did he do it with such determination and passion, but he came back so much earlier than anyone expected.”
Samantha Busch recounted the more difficult moments of her husband’s rehabilitation — the falls, the doubts, and the struggle of merely learning to walk again.
“People don’t see what we went through,” Busch said. “They don’t know every hour. They don’t understand how hard he works and I think that’s why I get a little bit more emotional about it.”