NASCAR champion Kurt Busch goes on Chicago sports tour originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch landed in Chicago for 48 hours of sporting fun and says he’s hoping to see a return trip for the upcoming NASCAR Chicago Street Race this summer.
“I’m trying really hard to be ready for the Chicago Street Race,” Busch said in an exclusive interview with NBC Chicago. “Whether I’m in the car or not, I’ll still be here, it’s going to be an incredible event.”
The 44-year-old retired from racing altogether after being injured in a crash in July 2022. Busch has yet to be cleared by doctors to resume racing as he is still dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion caused by the accident.
While there is no sign of a return to full-time racing, he is working hard to return to 100% for road racing. Busch is looking forward to the event because he says it is an unprecedented course for NASCAR.
“The novelty, the uniqueness and just the challenge of being on the street circuit, NASCAR has never done that before,” he told NBC. “It will be fun. The back straights on Lake Shore Drive…the scenic value of just being around Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park, the cityscape. That makes all of this the unique, powerful event that it will be. “
Busch is in the Windy City this week living the ultimate Chicago sports fan dream. In partnership with Toyota, he will take part in a range of sporting and promotional events and learn more about preparations for the road race.
He will begin his short stint in town by stopping by Harry Caray’s Toast on the River at Navy Pier tonight before watching the Chicago Bulls take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the United Center.
Busch will attend the Cubs’ season opener at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Then it’s on to the Blackhawks game, where he’ll take part in the shoot the puck action on the second break.
Busch has personal connections to the city. He is currently a member of 23XI (pronounced “23-11”), a NASCAR team owned by Michael Jordan.
“This is beyond any of my wildest dreams to race for the GOAT (greatest of all time), right. And having that sense of responsibility and pride to audition for him. But he makes it super easy, we just all ride together as a team, just like any other team,” he said.
However, these connections to Chicago run much deeper.
“I’m a Chicagoan, little do you know. My family is from Chicago and I love this city,” he explained to us. “My father is from Schaumburg, my mother from Arlington Heights. I love the North Siders.”
While covering that particular northern suburb, Busch also offered his thoughts on the Bears’ potential move to Arlington Heights.
“It’s going to be huge! will it happen I don’t know it. But I think all Chicagoans will absorb the change and newness because everyone here is proudly pulling together.”
Visit the website for more information on the upcoming NASCAR Chicago Street Race.
This story was originally published on NBCChicago.com by Lauren Stewart*
Source : sports.yahoo.com