It’s a very cool thing for Trevor Bayne that there’s a chance he’ll get back behind the wheel in NASCAR’s Cup Series. Bayne, the Rich Strike-esque winner of the 2011 Daytona 500 on his 20th birthday, is the standby driver if Kyle Busch’s surrogate goes into labor and Busch misses either Darlington today or Kansas next week.
It’s also a very cool thing that the Busch family has used their spotlight in NASCAR to talk about fertility issues, and it makes total sense that Busch would miss a race for the birth of his daughter.
It’s still kind of funny that Busch told Bob Pockrass that he hasn’t spoken to NASCAR about the consequences of missing a race because, really, what is NASCAR going to do, fine Kyle Busch for missing a race for the birth of his daughter… on Mother’s Day?
Busch also isn’t a stranger to controversy involving his family, and rightly lashed out at people criticizing him after his 6-year-old son Brexton declined a sponsor’s provisional at the Tulsa Shootout. Brexton will be heard from on his own in due time it seems, winner of the C-Main in the race he did run in January.
And even with all of that, even with Bayne’s possible return to the Cup Series for one shot in a championship-contending car, movie-caliber stuff for a guy who isn’t even old at 31, wouldn’t it have been cool if Busch’s team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing, had leaned full into the family storyline and made Ty Gibbs the standby driver?
Gibbs, the 19-year-old grandson of the multi-sport Hall of Famer, ran 16th in the Xfinity Series at Darlington on Saturday, and is in third place in the season standings, with three wins on the year and a playoff place assured. Busch, the two-time Cup winner and future Hall of Famer himself, is in fourth place in the top series, his playoff place wrapped up with a win on the Bristol dirt amid a current streak of five straight top-10 finishes.
Gibbs may well pilot the 18 one day. It would have been neat as a family affair on Sunday, but either way, it’ll all be a good story, and best wishes to the Busch family and happy Mother’s Day to all.