At the end of the 2015 season opening Xfinity series race at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch hit the inside wall at 150 mph, resulting in a compound fracture to his right leg and a broken left foot. It could have been the end of Busch's career, but it turned out to be the starting block for another team -- a physical therapy team.
One of the leading members of the OrthoCarolina Motorsports team is Ken Breath. He and his team have been rehabilitating drivers & crew members for nearly 10 years. They work with NASCAR teams both big and small.
Drivers make the rehabilitation process more fluid.
"A typical patient says oh it hurts when I do that, but won't necessarily be able to explain where it hurts, or the pressure is in this area, where these drivers they give such great feedback," Breath said.
Kyle Busch began working with OrthoCarolina Motorsports just days after having surgery on his leg and foot. He compared his work with Ken to dissecting a race car, which made it easier to pinpoint exactly what body part needed to receive attention.
Busch explained how they worked together. "This stretch is hurting here and it's pulling there, and he would be able to decipher through all those different things like a crew chief and make sure we were doing all the right things and not hurting something down the road," he said.
It was a long road to recovery for Busch. He watched 11 races from outside the drivers seat of his #18 Toyota, but with the help of Breath and his team, he overcame every obstacles thrown in front of him to fight his way to one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history: by winning his first Sprint Cup Championship.
"Ken was a huge part of our team in what it took in order to get better to get back in the car, what the fight was like when i got back in a car to winning a race, what the fight was like from winning a race to becoming chase eligible, from becoming chase eligible to winning the championship," Busch said. "There was a fight all year long of just overcoming obstacles and adversities that were thrown at us and put in our way and really, really set in and there was a lot of emotion shared in that night."