Kyle Busch Captures Second NASCAR Championship

Kyle Busch celebrates his NASCAR championship in his No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photos by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

As Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch crossed the finish line at Homestead-Miami Speedway, 4-year-old Brexton couldn’t contain his excitement.

Just like after every time Busch wins, Brexton wanted his dad to throw him in the air. He wanted to play with his dad, who just became a two-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, only accomplished by 15 other racers in the sport’s history.

So Busch, who’s been racing full-time in NASCAR’s premier series since 2005, grabbed his bundle of joy and took him inside the brightly-colored M&M’s race car for a victory lap.

“I was asking him if he’s having fun,” Busch told Long Island Weekly. “Is it cool? I was making sure he was taking it all in. He was sitting down on the floor at first, and he couldn’t really see anything. I was like, ‘Hey man, pop up a little bit.’ Then, he got up and he looked around to see everything. He was digging it.”

Busch enters each NASCAR season as one of the favorites to win the championship. His no-nonsense demeanor on the track, combined with his determination to win—not just one race, but every single one of them—automatically puts him with the likes of his racing heroes, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty.

Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Speedway on November 17, 2019 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

While Busch started out the 2019 campaign strong, winning three of the first eight races and finishing in the top 10 in the first 11 contests, he cooled off throughout the summer months. For 21 straight races, Busch failed to enter the winner’s circle, one of the longest winless streaks in his career.

So when he dominated the final race of the year, battling three others for the championship—whoever finishes the highest of the four drivers wins it all—it was actually a surprise to some in NASCAR that he got the job done.

“It was just a relief and some excitement, as well as just knowing how much effort it takes,” Busch said. “You always dream of those moments and being able to accomplish them. Sometimes, when you do accomplish them, it’s a little bit of a shock at first. It’s pretty awesome to take all of that in.”

The win was an emotional one for all of Joe Gibbs Racing. The organization started the year with the death of cofounder J.D. Gibbs. They won the first event of the year (the Daytona 500) with Denny Hamlin and went on to win a record 19 races throughout the season.
But for Busch and his wife Samantha, this championship victory is more emotional on a personal level. In the spring, the couple revealed Samantha had a miscarriage in November. The baby girl they were about to have, after an In vitro Fertilization (IVF), was no longer with them.

The experience led to the creation of the Samantha and Kyle Busch Bundle of Joy Fund, “dedicated to advocating for infertility education and awareness and removing financial barriers by granting monetary awards to couples who require fertility treatments to have their own bundle of joy.”

And that’s what made Busch’s triumph so personal. The 34-year-old father now sees life in a different way, and this victory is all about family. They are dedicated to showing Brexton how important helping others and giving back is, even during moments when they might forget what life is all about.

“In doing so, we show Brexton the kinder and gentler side of things,” Busch said. “Through the holiday months, we bring on different gifting opportunities with him. We’re able to help families that need gifts to go and buy some gifts for them. Then, we can give them away. Even some of his older toys and things he doesn’t play with anymore, we box them up and give them away.”

As the Busch clan continue to help other families, this couple is just relieved to have their bundle of joy on the ride.

“Being able to win No. 1 and now No. 2, having my wife and my son there, being able to celebrate and see things through his eyes—a 4-year-old’s eyes—and having him go around the racetrack with me is something I’ll never forget,” Busch said. “You always dream of those moments and being able to accomplish them. Sometimes, when you do accomplish them, it’s a little bit of a shock at first. It’s pretty awesome to take all of that in.”

Joseph Wolkin
Joseph Wolkin is the former editor of the Levittown Tribune, Syosset-Jericho Tribune and Anton Media Group's automotive special section and county news section. A graduate of Stony Brook University, Joseph has been published in dozens of publications. He is the author of Grandma: The Story Of A Boy And His Grandma.

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