Kurt Busch, the 2017 Daytona 500 winner, faced a difficult decision in November.
Busch, a lifelong Cubs fan, had to decide whether to attend Game 7 of the World Series or be with his wife to receive their wedding bands. Busch chose to stay at home, knowing that it would be good karma for his Cubs that night.
“It made sense that all of it was going to come together,” Busch said Monday.
Busch, in town promoting the The Tales of the Turtles 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway next month, is not exactly sure why the Cubs have been so inconsistent this season. But he still has faith.
“[Cubs manager Joe] Maddon is the mad scientist, he’s going to sort this out,” Busch said. “I think all that we’re doing right now is we’re in position to win the NL Central. The Dodgers are way too far ahead to worry about home field advantage throughout the playoffs. All we got to do is just get in [the playoffs].”
Busch became a Cubs fan growing up in Las Vegas by watching the team’s games on WGN, and he follows the Bears just as closely. And Like any Bears fan, he has his own thoughts on rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
“I heard all big things about it and I watched some of the recap shows on his first start,” Busch said. “It’s a big-time draft. When that draft came out of the area that it came out of, everybody was surprised, but there’s a reason why and we just have to let things unfold.”
Busch emphasized that it is important for fans to embrace patience, whether it be with regard to Trubisky or the team’s record.
“We were all patient as Cubs fans and when the Ricketts family bought the team,” Busch said. “Theo Epstein was hired, I immediately went, ‘All right, what’s his tenure. Is it a 10-year deal? OK we’ll results by year six. So with the Bears I think we’re in a rebuilding process too and coach Fox has his plan.”
Busch knows the frustrations and patience that go along with rebuilding from personal experience. He went through rough stages when he first signed with Penske Racing in 2006.
“We definitely had to take a step back and reboot the program and it was a two-year process,” he said.
But that seems like decades ago for Busch, who ranks 14th among NASCAR drivers this year and whose team, Stewart-Haas Racing, ranks fourth in the 2017 owner standings.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin with the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 17 and barring another wedding band schedule mishap, don’t expect Busch to miss this run at a championship.