JGR team owner gives update on Kyle as Samantha Busch releases a statement.
Daytona Beach, Fla. - Joe Gibbs Racing team owner Joe Gibbs took some time to discuss the current condition of Kyle Busch Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway.
Second surgery needed
Busch underwent surgery on his right leg last night, which was successful. He remains at Halifax Medical Center and will not return to Charlotte until he feels well enough to travel. Coach Gibbs revealed that he will need another surgery, focusing on his broken left foot, but that will likely be put on hold until he does make it back to North Carolina.
The speedway reacted immediately, putting tire packs along the wall where Busch hit within hours of the incident. Following the Daytona 500, track President Joie Chitwood III vows to cover every inch of the property with SAFER Barriers.
Kyle was in good spirits, joking around prior to the operation.
Prior to his surgery, I told him 'Hey, I love ya.' That's the way we feel about it.
Joe Gibbs regarding Kyle Busch
The reaction from the racing community has meant a lot fo the long-time team owner, saying "I want to say what really impresses you in a time like this is the NASCAR family ... It was just an outpouring of spirit and prayers. We had drivers coming by last night at the hospital. We had NASCAR officials coming by. Certainly, I think that's one of the most impressive things our sport, and the way we adjust to things, particularly when we had a situation like we had (Saturday) night."
Praising NASCAR safety
Despite his driver's injuries, Gibbs took a moment to praise NASCAR for their safety improvements over the years, noting that he was fine from the knees up.
"We've been in racing for all the Gibbs family, JD and Coy and everybody, 24 years. Up to this point, we've had one driver miss four weeks. So I think that says a lot about the safety of the sport. I think this will be a learning experience for everybody. (NASCAR) took the helmet, HANS device and all those things when you have a wreck like this and they'll do an in-depth study."
I love this man so much that even through all his injuries and pain the first thing he asked when he saw me was how our little boy was doing
Kyle Busch's wife Samantha
A return date unknown
There is no indication on how NASCAR will handle Kyle's Chase eligibility once he gets back behind the wheel, which experts predict should take eight to twelve weeks. "Time or length, I don't have a good understanding with that from the doctors. I can tell you this, Kyle's already telling Sam (his wife), 'Hey, I just want to get back to racing.' He has a great spirit about things like that."
Just prior to his surgery, Gibbs told Kyle that he loved him, telling the media, "That's the way we feel about it."
Samantha Busch responds
"Kyle and I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank everyone for your prayers and kind words during this difficult time. The response from all of you was so overwhelming and uplifting words cannot describe how much we appreciate it. Kyle just finished up some breakfast and is resting comfortably. Although his injuries are serious we thank God he is alive and that he is in the best spirits you can expect for a time like this."
"I love this man so much that even through all his injuries and pain the first thing he asked when he saw me was how our little boy was doing. He melts my heart at what an amazing father he will be! The staff also nicely checked little man’s heartbeat last night to put us at ease and it was strong! Kyle and I would like to wish the entire 18 team much success today and thank Matt Crafton for stepping in."
"We also pray for safety for all the drivers out on the track and thank the entire NASCAR community for their outpouring of concern and support. I will keep you posted on his progress and we continue to ask for prayers for a speedy recovery."