itinerary read like a presidential candidate's: three days, more than 4,000
miles by air, five plane rides, eight helicopter trips, four police escorts—all
to become the first driver to compete in three NASCAR races on three different
tracks in the same weekend. "Why am I doing this?" the 23-year-old
Busch said last Friday. "Because I just love to race." Here's how his
jet-setting journey went:
1 Friday morning,
After waking up
late and finishing off a big bowl of Lucky Charms, Busch practices and
qualifies 10th for Sunday's Pocono 500. (He's the Sprint Cup points leader.) He
takes a 10-minute helicopter ride to the airport and, with a posse of 11, hops
into a Marquis G-4 jet.
2 Friday evening,
The G-4 lands
outside Texas Motor Speedway just after 7 p.m. Busch choppers into the track
and hops into his ride for the Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 400. Despite
starting at the back of the field (since he didn't qualify the truck himself),
Busch finishes second. He munches pizza on the plane back to Pocono and hits
the bed in his motor home at 4 a.m.
Rested after five
hours of sleep, Busch wrecks in Cup practice, forcing him to a backup for
Sunday's race. Crew chief Steve Addington says travel wasn't the cause: "He
got plenty of rest last night." Off to the airport.
evening, Lebanon, Tenn.
Busch arrives at
Nashville Superspeedway at 1:45 for the Nationwide Series Federated Auto Parts
300. It doesn't go well; he twice cuts a tire and finishes two laps down in
20th. Busch bolts without talking to reporters and makes it back to Pocono by 1