Kyle Busch: “The racers back in the 70’s raced with no eyes! They had to tape their eyes open.”
At Pocono Raceway, Kyle Busch scored NASCAR Truck Series win number 51 in the #51 truck. He’s now tied with Ron Hornaday for the most wins all-time in the NASCAR Truck Series.
Busch, owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports found himself battling his teammate and employee for the race win, Erik Jones. However, Jones was not the first selection for that ride. Instead, he was just the last minute relief driver.
Noah Gragson was fighting stomach issues throughout the weekend. Despite that, he had the fastest truck in practice. He then missed qualifying on Saturday.
A few minutes before the race is was announced that Gragson wasn’t clear to start the race. Gragson disagreed with this decision by the NASCAR medical staff. However, it was their call.
Gragson is in the championship fight. Before Pocono, he was 2nd to Johnny Sauter by 32 points. After Pocono, Gragson remains in 2nd but he’s now 65 points behind Sauter.
Bob Pockrass: Do you agree with the decision? Are you confident in the medical staff? That they won’t make a decision too conservative on whether you can race or not.
“I don’t know all the specifics. I don’t know what Noah was fighting. I don’t know what the medical team saw in him that made them think he wouldn’t be able to drive,” Kyle Busch stated from the Pocono Raceway media center.
“I know, if I’m a race car driver, I’m up for anything. The racers back in the 70’s raced with no eyes! They had to tape their eyes open. And they were allowed to race.”
Ricky Rudd was involved in a terrible crash many years ago. The result was two black eyes that were swollen shut. The next week, Rudd entered the event. He taped his eyes open to compete in the event.
“So, a lot has obviously changed. I think there’s more opportunity for somebody to hold you out of a race… Which is scary.”
“But, again, I don’t know all the conditions to know what Noah was fighting.”
“I just gotta rely on the medical staff and hope that I’m never sick.”
Advice for Noah
Kyle Busch has been pulled out of the car in the past. Some of those were due to suspensions and another tire is was due to a broken leg.
Jerry Jordan: What advice would you have for Noah in this situation?
“He was sick. Mine were probably for other reasons, behavioral mostly.”
“But overall, it’s gotta be disheartening. I don’t know what the parameters could have or would have been if hey, ‘Let Noah take the green flag. Then, we’ll get Jones in it after that.’ ”
“At least Noah could have got points. At least Noah could have started the race. That just sets us so much farther behind in the race for points. You know, we were closing the gap on Johnny Sauter to be able to get to the points lead.”
“It would have met that much more to Noah to have those points.”
While celebrating his 51st NASCAR Truck Series win, Kyle Busch engaged in the usual burnout. Only, he sat there for a long while… Until the rubber on the track went a blaze.
Track officials had to come onto the racing surface with fire extinguishers as Busch went to victory lane. They sprayed the rubber and extinguished the flames.
Did you know you set the track on fire?
“I probably went through a couple layers of asphalt. My bad,” Kyle Busch said after picking up the Pocono Raceway win.
“That’s why I did it off line. Not on the logo and not on the groove. You don’t want to be running over potholes down the straightaway. We’ve seen that happen before at other places. Hopefully, they don’t fill it with the same stuff.”
“I tried to get out of the truck while I was still doing the burnout. Like I’ve done a couple times. I was too slow getting out. Then, as I was on my way out my foot slipped off the gas. I was like, ‘Oh. Well, that was a waste of time.’ ”