NASCAR returns to region next weekend

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Oct. 14—NASCAR will return to our area in a little over a week, and driver Kyle Busch spoke about his success so far this season and gave News-Press NOW a preview of the upcoming Kansas Lottery 300.

The 36-year-old driver won the last time he was at the Kansas Speedway in May during the Buschy McBusch Race 400, on his birthday nonetheless.

"A lot of Busch going on there," he said.

That was the first of two races he won this season, the other being the Pocono Mountains 350. After having transmission issues that caused his M&M car to be stuck in fourth gear, his team developed a strategy to pull out the victory.

It was a close race, as two of the drivers ahead of him ran out of gas.

"We had no clutch, no nothing," Busch said. "We just had to push it and get it out of the pits, you know. It was weird. It was tough."

NASCAR drivers have to be in shape in today's climate, as they can sometimes experience up to 5 g's of force, the equivalent of 60 pounds, while out on the track.

By comparison, pilots who flew F-16s during last summer's Sound of Speed Airshow can experience around 9 g's of force on their bodies. However, NASCAR drivers are operating their vehicles for an hour and a half to three hours while the Thunderbirds display lasted less than an hour.

"Overall, the atmosphere of a race is very stressful, and yet it's taxing on your body," Busch said.

Busch said his interest in racing came at an early age while watching his father race on amateur circuits. That interest has been passed on to his son, who did some go-kart racing the last time the Busch family was in the Midwest.

"Looking forward to getting back there," Busch said.

Fans of NASCAR will have a chance to win free tickets to the 2021 Hollywood Casino 400 that will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Kansas Speedway by watching News-Press NOW morning edition at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and successfully answering a quiz question.

Ryan Hennessy can be reached at ryan.hennessy@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowHennessy.

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