Kurt Busch National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award winner

Kurt Busch, who was twice voted a quarter winner, was announced Sunday as the overall National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award for 2022.

Busch accepted the honor during the NMPA awards luncheon at the Great Wolf Lodge.

The NMPA press membership recognized the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion by being voted the first quarter winner for his work with the nonprofit program Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix). Busch began donating race tickets in 2019 and encourages others in the industry to allow military service members and veterans to attend NASCAR races.

In the fourth quarter, Busch was selected for his spirit and leadership through a concussion that ended his full-time NASCAR career and work with the “Window of Hope” program.

Busch was injured at Pocono Raceway in July and did not return to competition in 2022. But he continued to support his team, 23XI Racing, and show others the importance of making your health a priority.

The “Window of Hope” program came to life in 2019 after Busch received a fan letter. In Oct., NASCAR drivers in the Xfinity Series and Cup Series ran pink window nets at the Charlotte Roval to bring awareness to breast cancer. Afterward, the window nets were autographed and auctioned off through the NASCAR Foundation, with proceeds benefiting Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute’s Project PINK.

Other quarterly winners were NHRA competitor Dom Lagana and IMSA competitor Robert Wickens.

Established in 1992 and supported by Pocono Raceway, the NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motor sports. It is also meant to acknowledge competitors who have overcome illness or tragedy to return to racing.