For a race car driver, winning often is enough to take one’s mind off pain and discomfort, but even when he’s not visiting Victory Lane, Kyle Busch says the residual effects of the crash that sidelined him for 11 weeks is certainly tolerable.
Busch broke his right leg and left foot in a Feb. 21 accident at Daytona International Speedway but has won two of his last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts after returning to action at Charlotte in May.
“Winning cures all and it seems like last week at Kentucky (his second win), the good runs we had there, my foot has felt a lot better,” Busch said on Friday before opening Cup practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “(But) I wouldn’t attribute it to that. Early on, I probably mentioned at Charlotte that I wasn’t dealing with much pain, and I really wasn’t. There’s times where it flares up and it gets bad, and you have some good days and you have some bad days.
“The more and more we get going here, the more and more good days I seem to have. Just trying to get through the inflammation and stuff like that, that I had in my foot and ankle, and everything has gotten a lot better. To be honest with you, I feel 100 percent behind the wheel of the car, and I can push the brakes real well – I think we saw that at Sonoma (his first win this year).”
The excitement of leading the race at the road course in wine country masked the discomfort Busch started to feel late in the race.
“I started to feel a little bit of pain with about 25 (laps) to go,” he acknowledged, “but then you get the adrenaline to take over and get going when you’re having a shot at the win, and you don’t feel anything until the next day afterwards, when everything kind of calms back down.
“Last week at Kentucky, everything went real well, real smooth, actually. Got out of the car and walked around for all the media stuff afterwards and didn’t really feel any ill effects. It’s getting better.”