19 October 2014
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Kyle Busch and wife Samantha to be parents
Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha have announced that they are expecting their first child, due sometime in May 2015.
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch announced on Saturday morning that he and his wife Samantha are expecting their first child together. The couple were married on New Year's Eve in 2010.
"Now announcing our plans for the 2015 race season!" Busch tweeted, along with a specially shot vintage-style photo of the couple celebrating and a old-style placard reading "Now announcing our plans for the 2015 race season!"
Kyle's brother Kurt also tweeted his best wishes to the couple, saying: "Congrats to Sam & Kyle! I can't wait, I'm going to be a pretty good Uncle Kurt."
At this rate, the NASCAR paddock will be needing to set up new crèche facilities to cope with booming demand. Michael Waltrip Racing's Clint Bowyer and his wife Lorra recently had a baby boy whom they named Cash Aaron Bowyer, with Bowyer quipping that he hadn't been able to talk his wife into 'Cletus Bocephus'. Kevin Harvick's two-year-old son Keelan is often to be seen at trackside during race weekends and has already made several visits to victory lane in his father's company.
Unfortunately for Busch, the rest of his day back in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing car didn't prove to be quite as happy as the morning had been. Busch was among several big name drivers to be badly caught out by revised rules governing qualifying at superspeedways, and his time of 54.065s (177.120 mph) on the 2.66-mile Talladega circuit left him relying on car owner points to make the starting line-up of Sunday's GEICO 500.
"That was pretty interesting," said Busch, after ending up in 41st place on the grid. "I thought we made it around to the clock before it ran out, but I guess we missed it by a second, so our fast lap didn't count."
Busch badly needs a decent result from this weekend's Cup race to ensure that he progresses to the third round of the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Of the current 12 drivers, the bottom four in the points will be cut from contention after this weekend meaning that no one can afford a poor result without risking being eliminated from the play-offs.
"We'll just go out there and try and have a smart race and hopefully advance to the Eliminator Round," said Busch. "We were planning on running in the back with our M&M's Halloween Camry at the start anyway and it really doesn't matter where we start at Talladega."
With Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick already guaranteed a spot in the next round, Busch is the next driver in the points standings but he's still only 26 points ahead of the driver in ninth position, his own JGR team mate Matt Kenseth. That means that however promising things might look, Busch still can't be assured of a transfer spot until the chequered flag comes out.
"We just need to come home with a decent finish on Sunday and avoid trouble to advance," said Busch. "The key there is to somehow stay out of trouble."
Best of all would be a win. Busch has claimed victory at Talladega once before, back in 2008, although he admitted that past form is no guarantee of future success at NASCAR's most notorious circuits for upsets.
"It doesn't matter at all," he said. "It's such a crapshoot there in the last 20, 30 or 40 laps that you never really know who is going to win, what's going to happen, and where the wreck is going to come from."
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