By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
FORT WORTH, Texas – Kyle Busch has continued to overcome the long odds this season and following a fourth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway, is just one race away from qualifying for the Championship Four in Homestead.
The 30-year-old missed the first 11 races of the year following a horrific crash at Daytona International Speedway during an XFINITY Series race in February. When Busch returned NASCAR required he win a race and be among the top 30 in points in order to qualify for the Chase.
Busch reached that requirement well before the regular season finale at Richmond International Raceway.
Round after round in NASCAR’s playoff the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has continued to narrowly pull through and advance. Heading into Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Busch was among the top four in race two of the Eliminator Eight round.
Busch ran among the leaders all day long, never dropping out of the top 10 and following the fourth-place result now sits second in the championship.
While all the attention is on Jeff Gordon’s retirement tour and the drama from the Matt Kenseth/Joey Logano rivalry, Busch has quietly made his own Cinderella story.
Even though Busch hasn’t won since Indianapolis in July, he has to pile on solid results and looks poised to make what was once the worst season of his career, into potentially one of the greatest stories in NASCAR history.
Following Sunday’s race, Busch took time to acknowledge the incredible story his 2015 campaign has become.
“Yeah, I mean it’s certainly a dream come true,” said Busch.
“I never would have expected we’d (the No. 18 team) be in this position, let alone when this first accident happened, I was thinking to myself, Man, I’m done. Literally, the thing that flashed through my mind is, Man, I’m going to have to go lay decals again. That’s what I did before I raced.
“Fortunately things worked out. I had a great medical staff, therapist, (a) wife who just kept digging on me and making sure I did all I needed to do to get going.
“I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. The script’s written. I think there’s two scripts written, it’s just which one is going to come true. Jeff Gordon certainly has one. I feel like we have one as well, too, with this 18 car.
“Hopefully it’s our Cinderella story that can end the season on the 18. “
Image: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images