Former Cup Champion and new fiancee to celebrate engagement in the Greek Isles.
Ashley Van Metre understands Kurt Busch’s competitive drive.
Just as Busch has raced cars his entire life, Van Metre has played polo since she was 10.
So when the Sprint Cup driver decided to pop the question, he first asked Van Metre’s father for her hand. Then Busch searched for the ideal setting. Van Metre, 24, was raised on a farm in Middleburg, Va., where she developed a “passion” for the game of kings.
Busch selected the Van Metre’s horse barn for his proposal.
“It was the perfect location,” Busch said. “I thought Ashley would be comfortable surrounded by some of her closest friends.”
Van Metre was initially introduced to the 2004 Sprint Cup Champion by her sister Charis, a friend of Busch’s, last October at Martinsville Speedway. The pair felt an instant spark.
Van Metre surprised Busch two races later at Phoenix International Raceway in November and the couple started dating. The couple spent Christmas and New Year’s together and have been inseparable since.
She’s the love of my life.
“The relationship really blossomed in the off-season,” said Busch, who has 27 career Cup wins, 19 poles, 114 top fives and 214 top 10 finishes. “She’s been with me through a lot but I’m happy and in a much better place right now.
“She’s the love of my life.”
Professionally, Busch’s performance has picked up considerably this season. In just 21 starts, he has doubled his wins, earned three more poles and more than tripled his laps led. After finishing 12th in the Sprint Cup standings last season, Busch sits eighth with 12 races remaining in the season.
Not surprisingly, Stewart-Haas Racing team owner Gene Haas told motorsport.com last month that the team has elected to pick up Busch’s option for next season and beyond.
Van Metre, who splits her time between Virginia and Wellington, Fla., where Palm Beach Polo is based, appears every bit as driven as her fiancee. As one of the top-rated female polo players in the U.S., Van Metre understands the complexity of professional sports.
“You spent the majority of your life around your competition, that’s been the majority of my life, too,” Van Metre said to Busch as she sat by his side. “Fourteen years playing polo — and 100 with you.”
During the Sprint Cup off-week, the couple will celebrate their engagement in the Greek Isles.