It’s rare when Kurt Busch mentions the R-word.
At age 40 Busch still is in his auto racing prime, one of eight drivers still battling for the NASCAR championship. But the specter of hanging up his helmet partly explains why the Las Vegas native is taking a test drive in the Fox Sports broadcast booth at Saturday’s Truck Series playoff race at Martinsville, Virginia.
“I don’t know where it will all blend in as the next few months or years come together,” Busch said about opportunities away from the race track, or at least above it. “But as far as the five-year-plan, I definitely see myself wearing more suits with ties than I do suits with (sponsor) logos.”
Transitioning to the broadcast booth would seem natural for Busch, considered one of stock car racing’s most eloquent drivers. He’ll be the second Las Vegas leadfoot to don the headset this year, following Brendan Gaughan’s NBC debut to rave reviews during an Xfinity Series race in July.
“It’s my passion for motorsports — I love educating people about it,” said Busch, who will call the Truck Series race alongside Vince Welch and Phil Parsons. “This is exciting for me to go into the booth and teach people about Martinsville, the trucks, the playoffs.”
Calling his level of interest in doing TV post-racing "a high priority," former champ @KurtBusch makes his TV analyst debut Saturday at 1 PM ET on @FS1 for @NASCARONFOX in the @NASCAR_Trucks race from @MartinsvilleSwy https://t.co/C5FQA1P4qY pic.twitter.com/nvXEu0jGgB
— Megan Englehart (@MeganFOXSports) October 23, 2018
While his older brother was practicing diction, Kyle Busch shared favorite Las Vegas Halloween memories in his missive to media this week.
“One year I went as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,” said Busch, whose No. 18 Toyota will sport a Halloween paint scheme for this weekend’s race at Martinsville. “I was Michelangelo. One year I dressed up as Jeff Gordon since he was my favorite driver.
“Sometimes people wouldn’t be home, so they had a bucket out and you would reach in and grab whatever you wanted out of the bucket.”
It can be assumed that if there was candy corn in the bucket, he left it for the kid wearing the Brad Keselowski costume.
— Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) October 17, 2018
Green, white, checkered
— Chase Elliott won Sunday’s NASCAR playoff race at Kansas Speedway, becoming the second Cup Series driver to earn his third victory before turning 22. The only one to do it faster: Kyle Busch, who was 21 years, 75 days when he sprayed sports drink on his crew for the third time.
Chase Elliott now has 3 wins in 11 races after going winless for the first 98 races of his Cup Series career.
The record for the most career wins for a driver who needed at least 98 starts to get his first win is 44…. by Bill Elliott.
— Matt Willis (@WillisOnNASCAR) October 21, 2018
— California driver Jeremy Doss passed one driver on the final lap and held off another to avenge last year’s last-lap defeat to Derek Thorn in the Senator’s Cup Fall Classic at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring. Next at the Bullring: The U.S Legends Asphalt Nationals. Racing begins at noon Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
More than 100 of the top @USLegendCars drivers from across the nation will be at The Bullring at LVMS this weekend! Admission is free on Thursday and Friday, and there will be plenty of great racing! Preview & schedule: https://t.co/Jpff3PLGoJ @legendsnation pic.twitter.com/wPyDZNXete
— Las Vegas Motor Speedway (@LVMotorSpeedway) October 22, 2018
— When the Beach Boys released a record called “Spirit of America” in tribute to land speed king Craig Breedlove and his iconic car of the same name, he was advised to sue the group for not obtaining his permission.
“I thought that was crazy,” Breedlove says in Samuel Hawley’s new book “Ultimate Speed: The Fast Life and Extreme Cars of Racing Legend Craig Breedlove” (Chicago Review Press). “I’m going ‘I don’t want to sue them. I want to meet them and tell them how much I like their song.’ ”
Another of the five-time world land speed record holder’s claims to fame: Surviving a 675-mph crash in 1996 at Black Rock Desert north of Reno.
As they say on TV, don’t try this at home. Even if your home has a salt flat out back in lieu of a swimming pool.
NASCAR Monster Cup
What: First Date 500.
When: Saturday, qualifying, 1:05 p.m. (NBCSN). Sunday, race, 11:30 a.m. (NBCSN).
Where: Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
Defending champion: Kyle Busch.
NASCAR Camping World Truck
What: Texas Roadhouse 200.
When: Saturday, qualifying, 7:05 a.m. (FS1); race, 10 a.m. (FS1).
Where: Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
Defending champion: Noah Gragson.
What: Mexican Grand Prix.
When: Saturday, qualifying, 11 a.m. (ESPNEWS). Sunday, race, 11:10 a.m. (KTNV-13).
Where: Hermanos Rodriguez Racetrack, Mexico City.
Defending champion: Max Verstappen.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing
What: Toyota Nationals.
When: Friday, qualifying, 12:30 and 3 p.m. Saturday, qualifying, 12:30 and 2:45 p.m. Sunday, finals, 3:37 p.m.
Where: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
TV: Friday, 3 p.m., FS1. Saturday, 2 p.m., FS2. Sunday, 4 p.m., FS1.
Defending champions: Terry McMillen (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).
The Associated Press