It could be a while before Kyle Busch makes it back to the NASCAR track after he suffered a compound fracture of his right leg in a crash Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Kyle slammed into a concrete wall along the infield, one that did not have an energy-absorbing steel and foam energy reduction (SAFER) barrier. He was rushed to a hospital with a fracture in his lower leg and a broken left foot.
Busch said he wants to return as soon as possible, but it will likely be months before he will be ready to get back behind the wheel.
"Today has been our whole focus, so we'll talk more about how long he's going to be out and try to get an evaluation of that, and then starting tomorrow we'll talk about what's our best decision for everybody on going forward," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, before the Daytona 500. "I know our emphasis is getting him back as quick as we can.
"I know that's what Kyle will be wanting to do, and we'll have everybody working with him and for him in rehab and everything else to get him back as quick as we can in the car."
The Daytona International Speedway took responsibility, with president Joie Chitwood saying the speedway needs to have the SAFER barrier "on every inch of our property."
"The Daytona International Speedway did not live up to its responsibility today," Chitwood said. "We should have had SAFER barrier there. We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now."
It is not clear if Kyle Busch would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR vice president Steve O'Donnell wouldn't say how many races Busch could miss and remain eligible. NASCAR has granted Brian Vickers an exemption to miss the first two races of the year after having heart surgery in December, but he must still be in the top 30 to become Chase-eligible.