For Kyle Busch, 2015 is already shaping up to be a year that he will never forget.
There's no doubt the driver who has 141 overall wins among NASCAR's top three divisions as of January 2015 – Sprint Cup (29), XFINITY Series (70), Truck Series (42) – will add to his win totals in this season's competition. After all, Busch has proven that he doesn't have a hard time finding victory lane.
But the biggest celebration for the 29-year old driver may actually come away from the track this season as he will become a first-time father to a son in May.
Personally, Busch is poised for the biggest year of his life. Busch hopes to have just as big of a year professionally.
For the first time since in six seasons, Busch will have a new crew chief at the helm of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing as Adam Stevens will guide the team. Busch hopes this new duo can ignite a spark that will produce the biggest year of his professional career as well and help Busch to finally breakthrough and capture his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
While this will be the Busch-Stevens pairing's first year together in the Sprint Cup Series, the duo have enjoyed much success in the XFINITY Series scoring 19 victories, 17 poles, 46 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes in 52 races together over the past two seasons. Busch hopes that their past successes will quickly transfer into the Sprint Cup Series and set him up for a Sprint Cup championship campaign in 2015.
Busch's rise to one of the top drivers in the sport and championship contender unofficially began at age 6, when Busch cruised around the cul-de-sac of his family's Las Vegas neighborhood in a makeshift go-kart. Busch was too small to reach the throttle, but that didn't stop him from picking up the basics. His father, Tom, held down the gas pedal while Busch steered the kart on the street. Once Kyle Busch was tall enough to reach the gas pedal, an accelerated pace was set for his future career in motorsports.
Throughout his childhood, Busch spent countless hours as an apprentice in the family garage to his father and his older brother, Kurt, learning to build and repair racecars. By age 10, Busch was a full-fledged mechanic and served as crew chief on Kurt's Dwarf car team. In 1998, shortly after his 13th birthday, Kyle Busch's driving career officially began.
Given his young age, schoolwork was always a priority. Busch was an honor student, but his extracurricular activities always included a racecar. Busch's parents taught him accountability: If he wanted to race, he was responsible to work on, repair and pay for his cars. Busch learned early on that carelessness on the track proved costly, resulting in wrecked equipment and being unprepared for the next event. He took pride in his racecars and raced competitors with respect.
From 1999 to 2001, Busch earned more than 65 wins in Legends cars as he earned two track championships at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway "Bullring" before moving up to Late Model stock cars. Winning seemed to come naturally no matter what Busch drove, as he captured 10 victories in Late Model competition at the Bullring in 2001.
His winning reputation and potential for success began to pique the interest of car owners in NASCAR, and Busch made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut – at age 16 – Aug. 3, 2001 at Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis, where he started 23rd and finished ninth for Roush Fenway Racing. Shortly thereafter, an unexpected ruling by NASCAR that enacted a minimum age requirement for competitors in NASCAR's top three series sidelined Busch until his 18th birthday.
Instead of sitting idle until that magic date, Busch turned his attention to the American Speed Association and ran the entire 2002 schedule. In a division that prepared the likes of Mark Martin, Alan Kulwicki and Rusty Wallace for NASCAR, Busch once again was successful by posting five top-fives and 10 top-10s in 20 starts, ending the season eighth in points. That same year, he graduated with honors – one year early – from Durango High School in Las Vegas.
In addition to his aggressive nature behind the wheel of a racecar, Busch has a strong charitable drive. He formed the Kyle Busch Foundation (KBF) in 2006 to benefit child and adolescent agencies that provide safe living environments for the less fortunate. The Foundation supports homes in Grand Rapids, Mich., Concord, N.C., Atlanta, Mesa, Ariz., and Las Vegas.
In addition to the children's homes his foundation supports, Busch and his wife, Samantha, added a new cause in October 2013 with events to support the North Carolina-based Pretty in Pink Foundation. Through money raised at a charity dinner held in Charlotte, N.C. called 'Project Pink,' the KBF initiative raised enough money to cover expenses for 12 breast cancer patients on all of their treatments. They'll look to continue the Project Pink initiative this October in hopes of covering treatments for many more breast cancer patients.
Busch and his wife, Samantha, reside in Denver, N.C.