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Busch bros eagerly await Texas’ NASCAR All-Star race

by Michael Haag | Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

FORT WORTH, Texas – It feels like every year they change the NASCAR All-Star race format, and while that may be true, there’s a new splash being added to Sunday afternoon’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. 

With the new Next Gen cars, rules and increased implementation of the pit crews, rookies and veterans alike will have their fixings of new gimmicks. 

Such is the case for brothers Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch, who have been through their fair share of All-Star races over their tenured careers. The siblings have different approaches heading into this event, with Kurt riding high off a win in the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway last weekend.

Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Jordan Brand Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 15, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“To pull our car into victory lane with the Jordan Brand – wow, what a day for Toyota, Jordan Brand, Monster Energy and just all the men and women on our team,” Kurt said. “All the progress has now put us in that spot where we’re solidified as a good team. I told everybody at our team meeting and our team celebration that we need to become a great team, so those are the next steps.”

Although not coming off a win, Kyle is sitting pretty in the poll position for Sunday’s race. When asked about what a victory would mean financially, he joked “Are you insinuating I’m broke?” The two-time Cup Series champion doubled down on that joke. 

“You should be [insinuating I’m broke] considering the best thing I got going right now for next year is a test driver, a sim driver,” Kyle said. “I did hear that it pays over 100 grand so I’m excited about that.”

Kyle Busch discusses the NASCAR All-Star race to media members in a press conference Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by Dawn Hall

He redirected into seriousness, as the 37-year-old believes he has a real shot at winning his second-ever All-Star race Sunday. 

“Truth be told, coming to Texas, All-Star race, it’s kind of that old adage of bring home the steering wheel or bring home the checkered flag,” Kyle said. “I’ve only done that once in the All-Star race, but [I’m] looking forward to this year’s format and the different things that it has going for us this weekend. 

“Obviously bringing back some pit crew elements into that, [I’m] excited about showcasing my guys and how fast they’ve been this year. They deserve to get some love.”

For Kurt, the trip from Kansas City, Kan. to Fort Worth was enjoyable, the energy among the team being high after the big success a week ago. 

“The hauler right now with all their crew members being here and the pit crew guys, I mean, it was straight up like a football locker room or a college football locker room of just the morale, the trash talk, the fun and the excitement,” Kurt said. “There’s a different swagger, you have to have that after a win.”

May 21, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Bush (45) during qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in Forth Worth, Texas. Michael C. Johnson

Despite the elated feeling, the 2004 Cup Series champion knows he has “to compartmentalize it into what can we do on track today with the cool procedures for the All-Star and then we go for the million bucks.” 

The vet still enjoys a big pay-day and has full confidence in his capability to win the seven-figure check. 

“I mean, who doesn’t love money? And we don’t have to worry about points tomorrow,” Kurt said. “Everybody’s just bouncing around like, ‘let’s go after this.’”

Along with being on the pole, Kyle has raced well on mile-and-a-half tracks this season and believes this gives him an added advantage for Sunday. He calls these types of races his “bread and butter.” 

May 21, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (180 during practice for the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in Forth Worth, Texas. Michael C. Johnson

On the contrary, one disadvantage is that when some of the teams tested the new cars on this track earlier this year, Toyota crashed early, resulting in less data gain than the others. The accomplished driver with 223 total NASCAR wins (across all three series) believes the previous note outweighs the latter. 

“We may be a little behind the eight ball, but the past mile and a half this year would argue otherwise,” Kyle said. “We’re fast and we have good strong race cars to go out here and try to win a million bucks.”

The brothers head into this race in hopes of securing the coveted funds, but there is one thing they can come together to off the track and support together. That is Brexton Busch, Kyle’s son and Kurt’s nephew. 

Both have supported the seven-year-old racer as he competes across several different states, just like his dad and uncle. Brexton is at the age where he’s winning a lot and even toying with some of his uncle’s constructive criticism.

May 21, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) receives the pole award shotgun for the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway in Forth Worth, Texas. Michael C. Johnson

“There was a video I took of one of his restarts and I go, ‘Why aren’t you blocking the outside?’ He looks at me and says, ‘Fine, I’ll do it,’” Kurt said. “The next restart, he blocked so far to the outside that the guy on the inside passed him and he got mad at me about it.”

When Brexton wins, he even gets some pocket cash from Kurt and will get that consistent income for as long as he races. 

“On the side, I made a deal with Brexton. I said [for] every win you get for your whole life, I’m going to give you $100,” Kurt said. “He has to call me or text me after each of the wins.”

“It’s all going into an account and it’ll tally up over the years.”

The family-oriented Busch brothers compete this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CT for the one-million dollar prize, as no playoff points are on the line. 


Kyle Busch — 


Kurt Busch — 


All-Star Race Pole Winner Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) — 


About the Author

Michael Haag is a Journalism student at Baylor University in Waco, TX. He is also Sports Editor for the school's student newspaper, the Baylor Lariat. He has covered the 2022 Allstate Sugar Bowl and multiple Texas Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the site in Waco. Michael has covered Baylor football, men's and women's basketball, baseball and more for the Baylor Lariat. He plans to finish in the spring of 2025 with a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism.