- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

DOVER, DEL. (AP) - About 75 airmen greeted Kyle Busch at the Aerial Port Squadron at Dover Air Force Base _ and they were ready to talk racing.

Against the backdrop of an oversized American flag, one airman asked Busch what he thought about the race-fixing attempt by Michael Waltrip Racing.

“Controversy? Spin gate?” he said to laughter.

Just a few miles from Dover International Speedway, the NASCAR scandal that rocked the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field was a hot topic for Busch. He handled the questions with honesty and ease as he posed for pictures and signed autographs for the hundreds of airmen that waited for him at various stops around the base. He told the group, “You do whatever you’ve got to do to get your team in.”

Busch toured the base Wednesday and attended the first public 9/11 memorial at the Air Mobility Command museum at the facility.

“It’s an honor to be in their presence and to honor the great people that sacrificed their lives,” Busch said.

Along with his wife, Samantha, Busch joined Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, other elected officials, first responders, airmen and others at the base as the Eagle Firefighters Association dedicated a 9/11 memorial that was constructed from two beams from the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, a rock from the crash site of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa., and a brick block from the Pentagon crash site.

The steel was acquired through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey World Trade Center steel program.

“It never fades,” Busch said. “This is one of those that you never forget.”

Busch also visited the USO Delaware Center, met with military members at the Aerial Port Squadron and visited airmen at a C-5 M, the military’s largest aircraft, on the Dover Air Force Base flight line. He even got a tour of the plane and sat in the pilot’s seat.

The military driver of the bus that took Busch around was a huge fan of the NASCAR star. He said he waited for years to meet him and handed him a pair of hats to sign.

“The red one is worn to death,” the driver said. “We’re going to freshen it up with an autograph.”

Nestle Toll House Morsels also donated 1,500 tickets to the Sept. 29 Cup race at Dover to the USO.

“It’s a pretty neat experience, especially on an Air Force base,” Busch said. “It’s great to be able to give back a little bit and enjoy the day with them.”

Busch visited Dover as part of NASCAR’s “Chase Across America” tour that put a Chase driver near the site of one of the 10 championship races.

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