NASCAR Recap: Kyle Busch Gives Toyota Its First Sprint Cup Series Championship
After missing the first 11 races of the 2015 season, Toyota driver Kyle Busch was able to complete the ultimate comeback by winning his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Busch, 30, was injured the day before the season-opening Daytona 500 when he crashed into the wall and broke his right leg and left foot. After a few surgeries and an intense rehabilitation plan, Busch was able to return to racing in May and he was granted a waiver by NASCAR, which allowed him to compete for the championship, as long as he could earn a spot in NASCAR’s playoffs.
Busch and his No. 18 Toyota Camry won four times in the regular season at Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and the Brickyard. Those victories were enough to position him inside the top-30 in points, which produced a spot in the playoffs.
Busch held off Kevin Harvick‘s No. 2 Chevrolet SS to pick up the win in the season finale at Homestead. The victory also gave Busch enough points to claim the overall NASCAR championship.
After Busch and Harvick, Brad Keselowski finished 3rd and he was followed by 4th-place finisher Joey Logano. Kyle Larson came in 5th and Jeff Gordon, who retired after the race, finished 6th. While Gordon was disappointed he did not win the championship himself, he spoke highly of the new Sprint Cup Series champion.
“All he’s been through this year, nobody’s more deserving than him,” said Gordon.
Busch’s championship also marks the first time in history a Toyota driver has won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.