SPORTS

NASCAR’s Kyle Busch Thankful Family Escaped Mall Shooting

Aug 7, 2022, 9:22 AM
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 App State Class of 2020 Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winn...
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 App State Class of 2020 Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 25, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Kyle Busch’s tumultuous year took another turn.

Busch, his wife and their two children escaped the Mall of America in Minnesota after shots were fired, three days before racing at Michigan International Speedway.

“If you look at that dark cloud that’s over me lately, hence the other day, we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of times,” Busch said Saturday.

When shots were fired Thursday, Busch and his son Brexton were waiting in line to ride a roller coaster while his wife, Samantha, and their daughter, Lennix, were shopping elsewhere in the largest mall in the country.

“It’s a lot to process as an adult but really hard as a parent to explain to your child what happened,” Samantha wrote in a post on Instagram.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker T. Hodges said no one was struck by the gunfire, adding on Friday that the department was still searching for two people involved in the shooting.

The harrowing experience, though, did not appear to give Busch a newfound perspective on his life and career. A two-time NASCR champion, he does not have a contract for next season and that appears to be his chief concern.

“This is a performance-based business,” said Busch, who will start third in the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday. “So it is life-or-death fear if you’ve either got a job and you’re working and you’re making a living, or you’re at home figuring out what your next steps are.

“I’ve kind of thought about that like, `OK, what are my next steps? What do I do if I don’t continue to race? And I have no idea. I have no clue.”

Busch, the 2015 and 2019 NASCAR champion and winner of 60 career Cup races, has one victory this year and is ranked 11th in points.

Over the last seven races, Busch has failed to finish within the top 10. That stretch includes a 36th-place finish at Pocono two weeks ago after he and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who won the race, were disqualified because their Toyotas failed inspections.

“It’s a matter of luck, and there is absolutely none following the 18 car right now,” Busch said.

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