With an M&M’s helmet in tow, NASCAR champion Kyle Busch was honored at the White House on Wednesday by President Obama.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, won the Sprint Cup Series championship in 2015, the first of his career. President Barack Obama commended Busch, who was accompanied by his teammates and crew, on clinching the title despite a devastating injury at the start of the season.
“He hunkered down, displaying the same determination in rehab that he’s known for on the track,” Obama said. “While he has said that rehabbing was one of the hardest things he’s ever done, winning on the racetrack wasn’t.”
Busch broke his foot and leg after a brutal crash at the Daytona 500 in February 2015. As a result after four months of rehabilitation, he returned to the track a week ahead of schedule, and just days before he and wife Samantha welcomed their first son, Brexton.
He hunkered down, displaying the same determination in rehab that he’s known for on the track. . . . While he has said that rehabbing was one of the hardest things he’s ever done, winning on the racetrack wasn’t.
President Barack Obama, praising NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, who returned from serious injury to win the Sprint Cup
He went on to win five races on his way to the cup, completing his comeback last November in Miami, where he won the Ford EcoBoost 400 and the Sprint Cup title.
Also Obama noted Busch’s charitable work, taken on through the Kyle Busch Foundation, founded in 2006.
“For Kyle, it’s not just what he does on the track, but off the track,” Obama said. “Kyle and Samantha are working hard to make a difference for folks all across the country.” Most recently, Busch’s organization partnered with Bundle of Joy, a program that helps couples pay for infertility treatments.
After Obama’s remarks, Busch presented the president with a green M&M’s helmet on behalf of Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the few helmets Busch has worn while racing.
“This here is a helmet,” Busch told the president, “one of the few that I have during the season and I raced with in order to bring to you and give a gift on behalf of all of us at Joe Gibbs Racing. So that’s a real one there.”
“I really like that helmet,” Obama replied.
Meanwhile Busch holds third place in the 2016 Sprint Cup standings, but he has the opportunity to win eight more races before the nine-month competition wraps in November. His older brother Kurt, also a NASCAR driver, is in 11th place.
The White House frequently hosts sports figures to celebrate athletic success. In May, Obama met with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team after they won a fourth consecutive NCAA Championship, and in June he congratulated the Denver Broncos on their Super Bowl win.
More NASCAR articles on GYSN:
Keyword: Nascar, Barack Obama, Kyle Busch, Helmet, White House