SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, took part in NASCAR's "Chase Across North America" with a pair of stops in San Antonio.

Busch's visit to San Antonio, part of the 16-driver, 16-city NASCAR "Chase Across North America" tour, hit a personal note for the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion as he stopped by Brooke Army Medical Center where he visited the Center for the Intrepid. Busch, who is active in supporting the United States military with his role as a spokesperson and ambassador for the Armed Forces Foundation, visited with military wounded in combat.

He was given a guided tour of the facility including a stop in the Lower Limb Rehabilitation Center where he visited with wounded servicemen and women. The three-fold mission of the CFI is to provide rehabilitation for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom casualties who have sustained amputation, burns, or functional limb loss; to provide education to Department of Defense and Department of Veteran's Affairs professionals on cutting edge rehabilitation modalities; and to promote research in the fields of Orthopaedics, prosthetics and physical/occupational rehabilitation.

"That was an amazing experience at the Brooke Army Medical Center," Busch said. "To shake hands with these men and women who have served our country and to give them inspiration and help them get through their tough tests of today and the future is truly an honor."

Busch also invited a number of the soldiers for a bus trip to see him compete in the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway.

"It was an honor to invite these men and women to the race at Texas," Busch said. "Through my association with the Armed Forces Foundation, and with the help of Texas Motor Speedway in this case, we are planning a trip to the AAA Texas 500. We have always found special events such as these tend to help these men and women get through their physical therapy so they can be as healthy as they can be."

During Busch's hour-long visit to the facility he had a chance to meet and talk with more than 20 wounded servicemen and women. "The most important thing that myself, or anyone else can do, is say 'thanks', and give and receive inspiration for what our service members have been through," he added.

From there, Busch attended a fan event at the Wonderland of the Americas Mall where a loud crowd awaited his arrival.

Following a meet and greet with over 50 contest winners, Busch participated in a Q&A session with Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage touching on subjects ranging from the new Chase format to Busch's attempt at "The Double" earlier this year - competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day.

"Texas fans are always pumped up for their NASCAR and these fans here in San Antonio are among some of the best," Busch said. "I know there are other tracks in this area but in this state it is all about the Chase and the NASCAR feel of cars going around the Texas oval track at 200 miles per hour.

"Fans like these are one of the many things I like about the NASCAR world and this year's race at Texas is going to be special because if you win it, you have a shot at the championship. And on top of that, Eddie Gossage and Texas have the best Victory Lane celebration in NASCAR so I want to be part of that again."

Busch was one of the first drivers of the year to solidify a place in the Chase after he won at Martinsville Speedway in March. A victory his team used to continually get better throughout the course of the season.

"It was great to win a race this year," Busch said. "Our team wasn't ready to be consistent at that point of the season but it was great to build up on that over the summer and finish with the fifth-highest amount of points during the summer stretch run. Our team is more consistent now and I think that's what makes us a solid contender for the championship."

Busch singled out the three races of the Eliminator segment - one of which is the AAA Texas 500 - as the most important of the new Chase format.

"That last group of three races is going to be the most important of the Chase," Busch said. "Those are the ones that will determine the final four drivers for the last race of the year so you want to still be in the Chase for them so your team has a chance to be in it."

Texas Motor Speedway is part of the Eliminator round, along with Martinsville (Va.) and Phoenix. The three-round elimination playoff opens at Martinsville on Oct. 26, heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 2, and then to Phoenix on Nov. 9. The AAA Texas 500 begins at 2 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

Tickets for the AAA Texas 500 are available by visiting http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com or by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.   back...
Search News

Arizona Free Press

Click on "Latest Threads" above
for additional articles.

Physical Address

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -Thomas Jefferson

Mailing Address

550 N. Willow St.
Globe, AZ 85501