Everyone knows of Samantha Busch, the lovely wife of Kyle, but how well do you really know her? I had the opportunity to interview her very recently and got to know what makes Samantha "Samantha" and not Samantha, "the wife of Kyle Busch."
Kyle and Samantha met the summer that Samantha went into her senior year of college at Purdue University. "We began to get to know each other via the phone and e-mails and eventually started a long distance relationship throughout my senior year. Kyle was such a sweet and easy-going guy that the first few months getting to know each other were amazing! He was so easy to talk to and was very considerate. He always asked me about school and work and the passion he had talking about racing was amazing. He was (and still is) so focused and driven and also hearing him talk about his two Westies - Kelly and Suzie - just melted my heart!"
Samantha hasn’t always been a NASCAR fan and didn't know much about it before meeting Kyle, simply due to the fact that she wasn't exposed to it. "As a kid living so close to Chicago, my family followed the Bears, Cubs, and Sox. Now, however, my entire family is obviously die-hard NASCAR fans." Samantha's father was born in Italy and didn't come to America until the age of six. "We still have a lot of family there so when my Pops and Nonno [grandpa] went back to visit two years ago, they brought a ton of Kyle stuff; so now there is some little town in Italy all decked out in Kyle memorabilia!"
"Getting to know the sport inside and out has been an amazing experience. Kyle was very patient teaching me the history and all about the cars. I also always ask the team what different parts are or what various adjustments do. Getting to see the behind the scene aspect of building the cars is truly remarkable! I don't think people understand how much work goes into it! The whole sport is fascinating and I feel like I learn more and more each day."
No doubt that being married to a NASCAR driver takes a toll on your nerves, so I asked what has been the scariest moment for her thus far; "The 2012 Daytona Nationwide race was pretty scary. There was a huge wreck out of Turn 4 which Kyle got a piece of and he slammed into the wall really hard. He had already taken his earpiece out so he didn't hear his crew chief asking if he was okay. Not hearing anything coming back from his end makes your heart stop. After running to the Infield Care Center and seeing he was okay, I made him promise me after a wreck to always say something just so I can know he's alright." But, with the bad, comes the good - the traveling almost every weekend of the year. "The best part is getting to travel to so many places and experience all the things each city has to offer! For example, hiking in Phoenix, wine tasting in Sonoma, trying out new workout classes in LA when we race Fontana…it's a blessing! I also enjoy meeting the people that are in each place we visit. Their stories about why they love NASCAR are awesome!"
SamanthaBusch.com is a great website that has health tips, fitness tips, fashion advice, and tons of great information for all the women out there; I know I've been one to visit her website for some of her great tips! "I created SamanthaBusch.com because on Twitter and or just when I was out and about, people were asking me questions about health, beauty, fitness, fashion, etc; so I thought it would be a great idea to have all my advice and tips in one place so people have something they can conveniently reference. I love when I hear that the videos and blogs I've done actually help people and that's why I continue to do it." By giving fashion, beauty, and health tips, Samantha has influenced many young teenage girls all over the country; "It's a huge honor and really just leaves me speechless when I meet young women or see on Twitter that I have had a positive impact on their lives. Whether it's helping them pick out the perfect prom dress, helping them lose weight, teaching them a new makeup technique, or helping them deal with a personal issue, I just feel blessed that people turn to me. I truly love all the girls I get to interact with, so many of them have become like little sisters to me and I hope they know that I will always try my best to give them sound advice, be an ear to listen and a friend when times are hard."
"I have always had a shoe addiction, I think it's hereditary. I’ll give you a quick, true story: So my grandmother has dementia and lives with my parents but, as we were transitioning her years ago to their house, we were cleaning her place out. I went into the basement and behind boxes and other stuff, I found piles of shoeboxes! Seriously there were probably over a 100 boxes all filled with shoes from years past, she never threw anything away! They were so beautiful but unfortunately not my size. That’s why I say my shoe problem is hereditary and I hardly ever get rid of mine either, I still have shoes from high school! To answer your question though, I love anywhere that has a good sale so places like DSW, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are all great places to find fabulous footwear!"
In addition to SamanthaBusch.com, she is very involved with the Kyle Busch Foundation, which focuses on providing essential tools for less fortunate children throughout the country. "We have a number of homes that we provide with daily essentials; in the past, we have provided them with everything from food to new computers, and one year, Kyle and I bought a home a few gaming sets and a bunch of games! We also want to make these kids feel special so, every Christmas, we ask our homes for a Christmas wish list from each child. We buy these kids all sorts of individual presents and the letters we get back from the kids are just so heart-warming! Some of them ask for the littlest things and are so appreciative of everyday things we may take for granted. This past year, we went shopping for over 300 individual kids! On top of that, Kyle and I like to help other kids not just those in the homes we support through the Kyle Busch Foundation. This past Christmas, we saw an angel tree and we were so upset that, with only two days of the program left, most of the tree still had angels on it so we took all the names off and bought each child all sorts of goodies! The main reason we are able to buy so many gifts is because of the fans! This sweet girl Lexie started Lexie’s Challenge where every time Kyle won, her family purchased a gift card to places like Dollar General, Target or Wal-Mart. She asked fans to do the same and soon gift cards were pouring in. With these gift cards, along with the money we raise throughout the year, we are able to buy tons of gifts for kids that may otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas. Here is a link to Lexie’s Challenge if you want to help: click here."
I had to ask about something that Kyle does that drives her insane; "Oh my, at night, instead of just moving to get into a more comfortable position, he likes to flail his entire body. Seriously, one day, I am going to go flying out of bed!" See, now you all learned something about Kyle as well.
I actually have a little story about the first time I met Samantha; I was at Dover and walking down Pit Road with Dan from CollegeComplete.com when he stopped to talk to her. The previous day, I had gotten a horrible sunburn during the Nationwide race - so bad that it actually hurt to have the straps of my shirt on my shoulders. While talking with Samantha, she noticed how terribly sunburned my shoulders and back were and offered to run back to their motor home and get me some sun block so I didn’t burn even more during the Cup race, I politely declined, thinking that I wasn't going to get any more sunburned…however, I did. Fast forward to October when Hurricane Sandy hit my hometown; Samantha was one of the many people to send their condolences, but she checked up on me months after the fact, which was a great feeling!
Interviewing Samantha has been a great experience and I just wanted to say thank you again, Samantha, for taking time out of your schedule to answer these questions for me. I know all the NASCAR fans loved getting to know you better!
* All photos are property of Samantha Busch *