NASCAR Champion’s Week in Las Vegas began Wednesday with the Busch brothers waiting on new arrivals of a vastly different sort.
Although it seems a 99.9 percent certainty that Las Vegan Kurt Busch will be leaving Stewart-Haas Racing to replace Jamie McMurray at Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2019 season, the 40-year-old former Cup Series champion held off adding the last .1 to widespread media reports.
“I was hoping to have it this week — it’s my hometown, our industry’s here, and it would have made a good impact to have it here,” Busch said of an announcement.
Kyle Busch, who had a fantastic 2018 season before finishing fourth in the one-race showdown for the NASCAR championship Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is awaiting an arrival even more blissful: The 2015 NASCAR champion said he and wife Samantha are trying to become parents again through in vitro fertilization.
“Obviously it’s still early in the process,” Busch, 33, said after the annual Myers Brothers Awards at Wynn Las Vegas. “We announced six, seven weeks earlier than anybody else would ever announce because of going through the process and keeping everybody up to date with what the doctors are telling us.”
The couple’s first child, 3-year-old Brexton, also was conceived through in vitro fertilization. They’re hoping for a girl this time.
“Infertility sucks,” Samantha Busch said in a video the couple shared through social media. “Everybody else can get pregnant easy. I mean, have a glass of wine, have sex and everybody else has a baby. But for those of you that are like us, we want to be really open this time and show you the shots and the medicines and everything that goes into it.”
Kyle Busch suggested his wife might be tougher than Dale Earnhardt Sr. was on the racetrack.
“The process is very challenging for the woman, obviously, going through the amount of shots and things she has to go through and the drugs and things in that regard,” he said. “So far it’s working.”
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) November 22, 2018
Logano signs in
One of the traditions of Champion’s Week is the guy being feted posing for a photograph along with his championship-winning car in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Boulevard.
“I’d never been there,” first-time NASCAR champion Joey Logano said. “I was there, and my race car was, too, and the trophy was. We had a lot of fun. There were probably 20, 30 fans there. Pretty cool. They took pictures with me.”
Logano was sporting a toothy grin that suggested he was enjoying Champion’s Week. But it should be noted that he sports toothy grins during the other weeks of the year, too.
— Anthony Fiato (@LAmobslugger) November 29, 2018
Gragson most popular
A popular driver will be joining a popular car owner when Las Vegan Noah Gragson moves up from the Truck Series to drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Xfinity Series in 2019.
It was announced Wednesday that Gragson, 20, had been voted Most Popular Driver by NASCAR Truck Series fans. Now he’s only 14 behind his new car owner, who was named Most Popular Driver in the Cup Series 15 consecutive times before retiring from full-time competition last year.
Gragson, who drove for fellow Las Vegan Kyle Busch in the Truck Series, finished second to Brett Moffitt in the 2018 championship.
— Kyle Busch Motorsports (@KBMteam) November 28, 2018
Season-ending trophies were presented Wednesday at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas during the annual NASCAR Myers Brothers Awards ceremony. The winners:
NMPA Myers Brothers Award: Jim France
Buddy Shuman Award: Grant Lynch
NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Mobil 1
American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick
Busch Pole Award: Kurt Busch
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Award: Joey Logano
MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award: Doug Yates
Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 team
Mobil 1 Driver of the Year Award: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
MOOG Go the Extra Mile Crew Chief of the Year Award: Adam Stevens, crew chief No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team
Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Joey Logano
Champion Sponsor Award: Shell-Pennzoil
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award: William Byron
Champion Crew Chief Award: Todd Gordon