Kyle Busch Wins The UNOH 200 At Bristol

Kyle Busch

Not even a NASCAR overtime could stop Kyle Busch from rallying back from a speeding penalty at the end of Stage 2 to win Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch, forced to the back of the field under penalty to start the final stage, put on a clinic on a Lap 119 restart and utilized the high line to roar through the field and find himself back in the top-10 by Lap 136.

Nearly 30 laps later, Busch found himself on the tails of leaders Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton. Taking second from Sauter on Lap 163, Busch moved back into the lead four laps later slicing and dicing through lap traffic.

When Austin Wayne Self and Justin Haley tangled with five laps, the final restart left the field one more attempt to swipe the lead away from Busch.

The now five-time Bristol Truck Series winner, however, would have none of it pulling away from Crafton at the Lap 201 restart and cruised to his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the year and 49th of his career.

“I knew once I got that penalty that I had to go somewhere, other than where everyone else was,” said Busch. “I just started grooming the top and it took about 15 laps for it to come in and then it started going, it was pretty fast.”

“I can’t say enough about all these guys on this Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra, it was awesome. It was awesome when we unloaded. We made some fine-tune adjustments to it. She was really good all-day long.”

Looking like a superhero with his comeback, Busch, who isn’t expected to compete in anymore Camping World Truck Series races this season, said he learned enough from the penalty that could give him a potential advantage towards earning a second triple-weekend sweep at Bristol. The first came in August 2010.

“It was a lot of fun to come through the field like that, it kinda gave me some ideas about the rest of the week,” added Busch. “Probably showed a bunch of stuff too. That’s what it’s all about. This is the start of the triple, hopefully we can get it.”

While many welcomed the event’s final caution, Crafton didn’t want to see the yellow flag, as he was sure he was catching Busch as the final laps counted away.

“I searched the top, searched the bottom, and went back to the old faithful bottom,” said Crafton. “One thing I’ve done, I’ve finished second to Kyle way too many times here. All in all, it was a very good truck and we have nothing to hang our heads about.

“We were running him down there at the end. I didn’t want to see that yellow because we were running him down, we were so good on old tires. And then that restart, when you are starting on the outside you’re going ‘oh man this could be really really bad’ and he has that grip to take off on the bottom and I was sitting up there spinning the tires.”

Busch led the field to green after nearly a two-hour rain delay and dominated the first stage leading all 55 laps.

The Brad Keselowski Racing trucks of Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric pitted on Lap 27 and restarted 1-2 for the Lap 64 restart, but Matt Crafton used the bump and run on Cindric and took control a lap after the beginning of Stage 2 and led until Busch caught Crafton in lap traffic and re-inherited the lead at Lap 105 and sailed away to the Stage 2 win.

Busch led the field off pit road but was busted by NASCAR for speeding in section 4 handing the lead back to Crafton for the start of Stage 3 and the eventual comeback for Busch.

Check out the unofficial results of the UNOH 200 at Bristol.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kyle Busch Is Trying To Off “The Triple Play” At Bristol

Kyle Busch & Kasey Kahne

In baseball, triple plays are rare. In fact, there have been 713 triple plays in the history of Major League Baseball, dating back to the first triple play in 1876. On average, there are 3.5 triple plays turned during the more than 2,400 games played each year, with the most recent coming this past Aug. 3, when the Baltimore Orioles turned one against the Detroit Tigers.

With that in mind, NASCAR’s version of a triple play is much more rare than baseball’s version. Of course, NASCAR’s version of the “Triple” is a driver winning all three races of NASCAR’s top national series – Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck – at the same track on the same weekend.

Only one driver has been able to pull off that feat – Kyle Busch. Back in 2010, Busch brought home all three trophies during a magical August weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Before and since then, the Las Vegas native had come close by winning two of the three races several times. But he only accomplished the coveted triple that one week in August 2010.

So as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shop Night Race, the 2015 Cup Series champion will again attempt to pull off something only he has ever accomplished – a weekend triple. Busch is entered in Wednesday night’s Camping World Truck Series race in the No. 46 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He’ll continue Friday night in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and then finish off the weekend in NASCAR’s top series Saturday night.

The driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for JGR in the Cup Series has a stellar record at the .533-mile high-banked bullring with five Cup Series wins. In fact, there will only be one other driver in the field Saturday night who has the same number of Bristol wins – his brother Kurt Busch. He would like nothing more than to sit alone atop the list of active drivers with six career Bristol wins.

In addition to his five wins, Busch has notched eight top-fives and 13 top-10s in 24 career starts at Northeast Tennessee’s “Thunder Valley.” Amazingly enough, three of Busch’s wins there came over a four-race span at the .533-mile short track in 2009 and 2010.

While he is a factor any time he travels to Bristol, it’s interesting to note Busch didn’t immediately take to the place. During his rookie year in 2005, he posted finishes of 28th and 33rd, but his record since then has been impressive, to say the least. After bringing home finishes of eighth and second in 2006, Busch captured his first Bristol Cup Series win in March 2007. The track was resurfaced after that race and, from 2008 to 2011, nobody has been better at the concrete oval than Busch. He scored four wins and six top-10s from 2008 until another change to the track surface prior to the August 2012 race weekend. Busch is looking to recapture the magic from his four years of dominance there on the current surface.

So as Busch and the M&M’S Caramel team head to Northeast Tennessee this weekend, they’ll be focused yet again on another possible “Triple Play” in hopes of taking yet another checkered flag at a Bristol track that has treated him quite well over the years.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
Would you like to break the tie between yourself and your brother for most wins here at Bristol among active drivers?

“I remember watching when I was a kid – I wasn’t here yet – watching Kurt win his first race here at Bristol and then having the epic battle with Jimmy Spencer there. That was a lot of fun to watch and see how Kurt was able to get his first win here and of course the years that I’ve been able to put cars in victory lane or wishing I could go back and get a few more of those wins that I missed out on – I’d have a heck of a lot more than just five. I think nothing comes close to the race that we had here in 2010 in the fall when I won the Truck race, the XFINITY race and the Cup race all in the same weekend. That was awfully special to pull off and with as much things as can happen here and as much carnage that can happen here, it certainly made for an awesome weekend and one for the record books.”

What is your most memorable experience at Bristol?

“The one that stands out the most for me is August 2010 – being able to do the sweep. We won the Truck race on Wednesday night, backed it up in the Xfinity Series race Friday and took home the trophy from the Cup race on Saturday night. We would certainly like to give it a shot again this weekend and get our M&M’S Caramel Camry to victory lane on Saturday to finish it off.”

Do you think anyone will ever win another seven races in a row at Bristol, like Darrell Waltrip did from 1981 to 1984?

“No, I don’t think so. I think the way the sport was then is certainly different than the way the sport is now. When you hit on something back in that day, you might have been able to keep it at that particular racetrack for a lot longer than you can now. The way that tech goes and the way you have to tear down your car here at the racetrack and having people looking at it from not very far away, they can see what you’re doing and, then again, they go to the tech center and they pull apart the shocks and they pull apart the bump stops and they basically give away to everybody else what you’re doing. I don’t think you’ll ever see seven in a row at a particular racetrack again, but I could be wrong. Deep down, I would like to say that I could do it, but I know that, even with the team I have and the crew and the talent and everything we’ve got going on with the M&M’S Caramel car, that’s going to be hard to do. It’s fun to reminisce about those days and about what it’s all about but, sometimes you hear these comments about our sport. And they talk about how great it was in the ’70s or the ’80s, and you look at some of the results and there’s eight cars that finish and the second-place car is three laps down and this guy has now won five in a row at a particular racetrack and it’s, like, ‘How is that the good old days?’ Is that really what would be exciting these days? I don’t think so. Not unless it’s your favorite driver, and there are a lot of fans out there who pull for different drivers.”

How much do the changes to the track impact your capabilities at this track?

“Every time we come here it seems like there’s something changing. With the bottom grip strip let’s call it, it certainly makes for a unique race track – more unique than it was already and when they first re-concreted this race track and did a new layout to it, more of a bowl-type to where you can run all over the race track, I was a huge fan of that – that you could race and race cleanly and not have to knock people out of the way and you could run three wide through the corners or two wide most all the way around the race track. That’s boring apparently so they changed it again and ground the outside groove and that really through me and my team for a loop and we were never really able to find something that we could work with up there and get it to work the way that we needed it to win races here. Now that they have the bottom groove going back again, that seems to open it again for the bottom and the top and you can run two lanes and you can have the lanes be more equal to one another rather than the top just being so much faster and having to run up there.”

What makes Bristol Motor Speedway so unique and a place that fans love?

“Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the best racetracks on the circuit. All the fans love it because of the excitement, the run-ins and the close-quarter action with all the cars being packed on top of one another at a half-mile racetrack with us 40 lunatics running around in a tight circle. With the fans, the atmosphere there always makes for a good time.”

M&M’S Caramel Racing

Race 24 of 36 – Bass Pro Shops Night Race – Bristol

Car No.: 18 – M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry

 

Teammates:  Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19 Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.

 

At-Track PR Contact: Bill Janitz, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 803 or Bill.Janitz@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas

 

Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio

 

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

 

Race Engineer: Ben Beshore

Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania

 

Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

 

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Tom Lampe

Hometown: Beatrice, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie

Hometown: Mount Clemens, Michigan

 

Jackman: TJ Ford

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

Hometown: Orange County, Virginia

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber

Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York

 

Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara

Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio

 

Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Pit Support: Jeff Koons

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price

Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher

Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York

 

Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape

Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

 

Race Engineer: Tyler Allen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

 

Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase

Hometown: Nichols, New York

 

Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones

Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

 

Mechanic: Todd Foster

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

 

Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth

Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois

Notes of Interest:
  • The Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway will mark Kyle Busch’s450th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 25th NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol.
  • Busch has career totals of 39 wins, 24 poles, 155 top-five finishes, 232 top-10s and 13,505 laps led in 449 career Cup Series racesHis most recent Cup Series win came three races ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Busch’s most recent pole, the 25th of his career, came two races ago at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. He now has six poles this season, a career high.
  • Busch has five wins, eight top-five finishes and 13 top-10s and has led a total of 1,960 laps in 24 career Cup Series starts at Bristol. Busch’s average Bristol finish is15.1.
  • 13,000: After leading 100 laps at Pocono in June, Busch bested the 13,000 mark in laps led in NASCAR’s top series. With his current 13,505 Cup Series laps led, Busch is just the 11th driver to best the 13,000 mark.
  • 100th: Busch brought home Toyota’s maiden Cup series victory in March of 2008. Fast forward nine years later and Busch’s recent Pocono win was the 100th for the Toyota Camry brand in NASCAR’s top series. Busch has brought home 35 of those 100 victories for the manufacturer. The win was also Toyota’s 400th victory among NASCAR’s top three series. Among those 400 wins, Busch has 155.
  • Starting Up Front: Busch captured his third consecutive pole two races ago at Watkins Glen, which was the sixth of 2017 for the Las Vegas native. Six poles is the most Busch has captured during any season of his career. In fact, prior to 2017, the most poles Busch had captured in a season was three, which he did on two different occasions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
  • All-Star Winner: In addition to the Pocono win, Busch brought home a non-points victory in May’s All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, as the M&M’S Caramel brand is now two for three in races so far this year. The win was Busch’s first victory in his 12th start in the All-Star Race, the largest number of starts before an All-Star Race win. The previous high was held by Tony Stewart with 11 All-Star starts before his win in 2009.
  • 39 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Pocono, the 39th points-paying win of his career, Busch now sits tied for 18th on the all-time Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock.
  • Trimming the List: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City added to the list last season, and now Pocono crossed off the list two weeks ago, Busch has won Cup Series points races at 22 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only track remaining to conquer in the Cup Series is Charlotte. Busch, of course, was the winner of the All-Star non-points race at Charlotte back in May but is still chasing a points-paying Cup Series victory there. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Five of Busch’s last seven Cup Series wins have been his first at each track in NASCAR’s top series (Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville, Kansas, and Pocono). Of the 22 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
  • All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win last July, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 35 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33 following last month’s Pocono win.
  • 177 and Counting: Busch enters Bristol with 177 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (39), Xfinity (90) and Truck (48) following his Xfinity Series victory at Watkins Glen two weekends ago.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

KBM Enters Kyle Busch In The UNOH 200 At Bristol

Kyle Busch

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview
Event:  UNOH 200 (Round 14 of 23)

Date:  Aug. 16, 2017

Location:  Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway

Layout:  .533-mile oval

 

Three Things You Need to Know:
● Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 46 BANFIELD® Pet Hospital Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), will make his seventh and final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of the 2017 season this weekend in the UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. In six starts this year, Busch has scored two wins – May 12 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and May 19 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Busch has led 285 of the 741 laps (38.4 percent) run during the six races in which he has competed.

● While Wednesday night’s race is Busch’s seventh Truck Series start of the season, it will be his 11th start in the series at Bristol. In 10 previous starts, Busch has four wins (2008 to 2010, and 2013), six top-five finishes, seven top 10s, three poles and has led a total of 435 laps. Additionally, it will be the 140th start of Busch’s Truck Series career, which features 48 wins, 88 top fives and 109 top-10s. He’s scored 17 pole positions and has led a total of 6,131 laps.

● Wednesday night’s Truck Series race is the second of two in which Busch is racing with Banfield on the hood of his Toyota Tundra. Busch finished sixth in the No. 46 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Tundra last month while competing at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A
Are you looking forward to coming back and running the Truck Series race at Bristol?

“Yeah we haven’t run the Truck Series race at Bristol in a couple of years, so I’m looking forward to being able to do that again. It’s my last race in the series this year and we’re running all three this weekend. So, it’s the last chance to try to complete the triple this season. I’m always up for the challenge of racing, running all three series and trying to win. I would really like to try to get Banfield its first win. We have them back on the truck this weekend, so it would be a great way to get things started.”

This is your second Truck Series race with Banfield Pet Hospital on the hood. How special would it be to get the win for them this week?

“Yeah, we kind of missed it with some setup problems at Kentucky last month, but we feel like we figured out what went wrong there. It definitely would be great to get a win for Banfield. We have a lot of their guests coming to watch us, so a win would make that extra special. We usually have our dog Lucy with us, so it’s always nice to know that, if an issue comes up, there is likely a Banfield Pet Hospital not too far away from wherever we are. Banfield also is big into preventive care for our pets, which is important. I think everyone knows we’ve been dog lovers our whole lives – my mom, dad, grandparents. Everyone feels like our pets are our children. I know a lot of NASCAR fans feel the same way about their pets.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kyle Busch Grabs A Top Five Finish In The LTi Printing 200

Date:                            August 12, 2017

Event:                           Lti Printing 200 (Race 13 of 23)

Series:                          NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Location:                     Michigan International Speedway (two-mile oval)

Format:                       Three Stages; 30 laps/30 laps/40 laps

Start/Finish:                10th/3rd (Running, completed 100 of 100 laps)

Winner:                       Darrell Wallace Jr. of MDM Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Owner-driver Kyle Busch led a race-high 47 laps in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Michigan International Speedway before ultimately scoring a third-place finish in his last race behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra for the 2017 season.

Stage One Recap:

  • Busch took the green to start the race from the 10th position. By Lap 2, he had already cracked into the top five, looking to make it to the front of the field. After the first caution flag flew, Bush restarted the race third and on Lap 15 he made the pass for the lead. Throughout the stage the owner-driver had no complaints about his No. 51 Textron Off-Road Toyota Tundra. When the caution waved to end the stage, Busch was still leading the field.

Stage Two Recap:

  • After a four-tire stop on pit road, Busch started Stage Two once again leading the field to green. He continued to be happy with the way his Tundra was handling and led every lap of Stage Two.

Stage Three Recap:

  • Busch started Stage Three by making a trip down pit road for four fresh tires before restarting behind trucks that only took gas, in the eighth position. As Busch restarted, he got caught up in an incident that cut his left-front tire down. After a trip to pit road to change the tire and assess the damage, he restarted in the 14th position with less than 30 laps to go. Busch used the rest of the stage to race his way back to the front of the pack. The last lap proved to be exciting as Busch raced hard for the win, but ultimately finished third, behind teammate Christopher Bell.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Textron Off Road Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:

What happened early in the race when you had your tire cut down?

“I have no idea what happened – there was an idiot up there that doesn’t know how to drive and that’s probably what caused it. It was unfortunate for our truck, we had a really, really fast Textron Off Road Tundra and was hopefully being able to keep our track position there and race those guys, but it was hard to make any moves and try to pass and go for the win by yourself, you always had to have help, you always had to have somebody behind you or momentum behind you to push the guy out front. Any time you got to the guy that was out front, he could just side draft you so hard that it really messed up your momentum. It kind of scrambled things there at the end, but I was trying to help the 4 (Christopher Bell) as much as I could to get him up there and he made a bold move into one and couldn’t quite get him cleared and almost got sucked around and then off of two we got cleaned up again and get up there one more time and just got the door shut on him in three. Overall, just a good day, but frustrating in the same breath.”

What happened to force you back in the field?

“Fast trucks just keep getting wrecked and we keep getting stuck back in traffic and had a hard time coming up through. Just needed more laps I guess, these races aren’t very long.”

 

LTI Printing 200 Recap:

  • Darrell Wallace Jr. won his first race of the season followed by KBM’s Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Ryan Truex and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-five finishers

  • The race featured five cautions for a total of 24 laps. There were seven lead changes among seven drivers.

How Busch’s KBM Teammates Fared:

 

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished seventh

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished second

NCWTS Owner Championship Standings:

 

The No. 51 Toyota Racing team is now fifth in the Truck Series Owner Championship Standings.

Next Race:

 

Harrison Burton will pilot the No. 51 Toyota Tundra when the Truck Series returns on Wednesday, August 16, at Bristol Motor Speedway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kyle Busch Has Dialed Up The Heat

Kyle Busch

As the summer heat has turned up, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Camrys of Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have turned up the heat as NASCAR’s top series heads to late summer with the playoffs within sight.

Truex and Busch sit 1-2 in several statistical categories – driver rating, average running position, average start, fastest drivers early and late in the run, fastest laps run, great-flag speed and, of course, laps led. The laps led category may be the most impressive number with Truex leading 1,315 laps thus far this season while Busch has led 1,135. Each has almost twice the number of laps led as next-best competitor, Kyle Larson, who sits third with 722.

Looking even closer at NASCAR’s summer stretch – the last 10 races on the schedule starting at June at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and through last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International – the laps-led differential statistic is virtually even with Busch sitting at 551 laps led and Truex at 546 during those races.

Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), is coming off a win at Pocono two weeks ago while Truex brought home the checkered flag last weekend at Watkins Glen as the Cup Series heads to the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

In the Irish Hills of Michigan this weekend, Busch will look to keep running up front, starting with an improvement over the seventh-place finish he earned at Michigan in June. That finish doesn’t nearly tell the story as Busch led 40 laps that day and was leading late in the race when caution and subsequent restart spoiled what looked to be a breakthrough run at a facility that he had struggled with since the track was repaved heading into the 2012 season. The Las Vegas native brought home a lone top-five finish in June 2013 on the new surface, but also suffered five finishes of 30th or worse since the repave before his seventh-place effort in June.

With Interstate Batteries returning to the No. 18 car this weekend, Busch is encouraging fans to stop by a local Interstate dealer to get their batteries checked before taking off on their late-summer vacation. Hot weather has a far greater effect on batteries than the cold, so this weekend’s race at a popular summer tourist destination like the Great Lakes state of Michigan is the perfect setting to remind fans to have their batteries checked before taking off on one final summer road trip.

Interstate Batteries has been powering the championship-winning organization for more than 25 years and is the “Official Battery of Joe Gibbs Racing.” The iconic brand is in the midst of celebrating its 65th anniversary and has featured special branding on each of the paint schemes to reflect the milestone during its 2017 campaign.

Busch had some success on the last race on the old surface at Michigan on Aug. 21, 2011, and with just four top-10 finishes in 13 previous starts at Michigan, he found himself outdueling now seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson for the win in a late-race shootout at the 2-mile oval, where he brought home his first and only Cup Series win in the Automobile State.

So, as Busch and the Interstate Batteries team head back to the Midwest this weekend with an “Outrageously Dependable” Interstate Battery under the hood, the confidence built from a strong June weekend there and a summer spent running up front will do them well this weekend. But he knows chances are that he’ll need to outduel fellow Toyota Camry driver Truex and his team yet again in order to capture his second career Cup Series victory in the Irish Hills of Michigan.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
Does taking the same approach you have at the Kansas repave also benefit you at a place like Michigan?

“Our team has come a long way at Kansas, that’s for sure. To get a win there was a really big deal for our team. I give my guys a lot of credit for working hard to find something I was more comfortable with there. Our whole team has shown how well we’ve worked together, and that he (crew chief Adam Stevens) has been a really quick study, so I think the same direction can work at Michigan this weekend. We are working on improving as an organization not only on the resurfaced tracks, but overall in general and it showed there in June. We ran as well as we have since the repave there. Everyone is working their guts out to get our stuff better there and we made a lot of progress in June there. I’m looking forward to getting out there in practice and seeing what we can learn with our Interstate Batteries Camry.”

So much of the talk this year has been the strength of Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. Do you feel like you’ll be a contender for the title this year with how strong you’ve been?

“I don’t know. We normally tend to fly under the radar most times during the playoffs. But, you know, I’m not one who needs to go out and beat our chest to say that we should be in the conversations. That’s for other people to decide. I think our stats and our runs and our speed shows for itself. Those guys have just been able to capitalize on race victories. That’s what we haven’t been able to capitalize on. We haven’t been very flashy when it comes to getting through the playoffs. When our backs are against the wall, I would say we haven’t necessarily had that situation, thankfully, so we haven’t had to go out there and win. I mean, in those playoff instances, like some of these other teams have. The 4 (Kevin Harvick) has been able to do it, the 78 (Truex), a couple other guys. We just methodically go about our races and that’s our mentality. When it works for us, we go to victory lane. That’s how we’ve gotten to Homestead the last couple of years.”

Most drivers really seem to enjoy racing at Michigan International Speedway. Why is that?

“Regardless of new pavement or not, it’s wide-open racing and you can run from top to bottom more and more every race there as the groove widens out. The biggest thing used to be to find grip there. But with the new surface, there is a ton of grip now. Before, you had grip for maybe five laps, and then you’d just be out to lunch. But now, the tire wear is all out the window and the racetrack is very fast. And the wide racetrack is good. That’s what makes Michigan so exciting and so fun. That’s the biggest deal about it. The surface is finally starting to wear in a bit and we have learned a lot there, I would certainly like to get back to victory lane there for Norm (Miller, Interstate Chairman) and everyone at Interstate Batteries.”

How much more worn is the track surface at Michigan?

“I expect it to be fast, still. There’s still a lot of grip, but it’s starting to get worn in like Kansas did, but not quite to that level just yet. I would still expect it to be very fast this weekend. But if you’re just a little bit loose there, now you’re nervous that just any little bit of getting outside the groove or having a little bit too much yaw will lead to a wreck. It was really intense last year in our tests and in the races there. You are hauling there now, for sure, and we know that corner speeds are up overall this year at other places.”

Interstate Batteries Racing

Race 23 of 36 – Pure Michigan 400 – Michigan

Car No.: 18 – Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

 

Teammates:  Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19 Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.

 

At-Track PR Contact: Bill Janitz, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 803 or Bill.Janitz@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas

 

Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio

 

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

 

Race Engineer: Ben Beshore

Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania

 

Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

 

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Tom Lampe

Hometown: Beatrice, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie

Hometown: Mount Clemens, Michigan

 

Jackman: TJ Ford

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

Hometown: Orange County, Virginia

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber

Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York

 

Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara

Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio

 

Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Pit Support: Jeff Koons

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price

Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher

Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York

 

Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape

Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

 

Race Engineer: Tyler Allen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

 

Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase

Hometown: Nichols, New York

 

Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones

Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

 

Mechanic: Todd Foster

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

 

Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth

Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois

Notes of Interest:
  • The Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn will mark Kyle Busch’s 449th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 26th NASCAR Cup Series start at Michigan.
  • Busch has career totals of 39 wins, 24 poles, 155 top-five finishes, 231 top-10s and 13,491 laps led in 448 career Cup Series racesHis most recent Cup Series win came two races ago at Pocono (Pa.) raceway. Busch’s most recent pole, the 25th of his career, came last weekend at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. He now has six poles this season, a career high.
  • Busch has one win, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s and has led a total of 219 laps in 25 career Cup Series starts at Michigan. Busch’s average Michigan finish is 19.9.
  • 13,000: After leading 100 laps at Pocono in June, Busch bested the 13,000 mark in laps led in NASCAR’s top series. With his current 13,491 Cup Series laps led, Busch is just the 11th driver to best the 13,000 mark.
  • 100th: Busch brought home Toyota’s maiden Cup series victory in March of 2008. Fast forward nine years later and Busch’s recent Pocono win was the 100th for the Toyota Camry brand in NASCAR’s top series. Busch has brought home 35 of those 100 victories for the manufacturer. The win was also Toyota’s 400th victory among NASCAR’s top three series. Among those 400 wins, Busch has 155.
  • Starting Up Front: Busch captured his third consecutive pole last weekend at Watkins Glen, which was the sixth of 2017 for the Las Vegas native. Six poles is the most Busch has captured during any season of his career. In fact, prior to 2017, the most poles Busch had captured in a season was three, which he did on two different occasions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
  • All-Star Winner: In addition to the Pocono win, Busch brought home a non-points victory in May’s All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, as the M&M’S Caramel brand is now two for three in races so far this year. The win was Busch’s first victory in his 12th start in the All-Star Race, the largest number of starts before an All-Star Race win. The previous high was held by Tony Stewart with 11 All-Star starts before his win in 2009.
  • 39 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Pocono, the 39th points-paying win of his career, Busch now sits tied for 18th on the all-time Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock.
  • Trimming the List: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City added to the list last season, and now Pocono crossed off the list two weeks ago, Busch has won Cup Series points races at 22 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only track remaining to conquer in the Cup Series is Charlotte. Busch, of course, was the winner of the All-Star non-points race at Charlotte back in May but is still chasing a points-paying Cup Series victory there. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Five of Busch’s last seven Cup Series wins have been his first at each track in NASCAR’s top series (Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville, Kansas, and Pocono). Of the 22 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
  • All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win last July, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 35 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33 following the Pocono win.
  • 177 and Counting: Busch enters Michigan with 177 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (39), Xfinity (90) and Truck (48) following his Xfinity Series victory last weekend at Watkins Glen.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY RDNECK!

Kyle Busch Straps Back Into The Flagship KBM No. 51 Tundra At Michigan

Kyle Busch

Saturday afternoon, in the heart of the Irish Hills of Michigan, Kyle Busch will strap into his No. 51 Toyota Tundra for the final time this season. The LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway will mark Busch’s 10th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at the two-mile track.

In his nine previous NCWTS starts at Michigan, Busch has one win and an impressive seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The 32-year-old found Victory Lane in 2015, which was the last time he piloted the No. 51 Toyota Tundra at the track. Busch took the green flag from the 10th position and led a race-high 44 laps en route to the victory.

This weekend in the state known for its Great Lakes, Busch will be pulling double-duty at the oval track. Saturday, he will race 100 laps in the No. 51 Textron Off Road Toyota Tundra for the NCWTS and Sunday he will compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS). Busch has one MENCS win at Michigan in 2011, where he started 17th and raced his way to the front of the pack, leading 22 laps before crossing the finish line first.

The owner-driver has two Truck Series wins this season in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra and hopes he can add a third win to the list after Saturday’s race. In his first win of 2017, Busch led 91 laps en route to the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway earlier this season. One week after that win, Busch found Victory Lane again at Charlotte Motor Speedway after leading a race-high 90 laps.

Although Michigan is Busch’s last race in the No. 51 Tundra this season, Rowdy fans will have a chance to see Busch back on track for KBM in the No. 46 Tundra on Aug. 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Busch is confident that after the 100-lap race Saturday afternoon, he will have a chance to take his signature bow in front of the fans with the winning checkered flag in hand once again in the Irish Hills of Michigan.

Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 51 NCWTS Textron Off Road Tundra:

How are you feeling going into the race Saturday afternoon?

“This is my last race of the year with the 51 team, so we’re looking to go out on a high note. We’ve had really fast Tundras each time out, led a lot of laps and we’ve been able to pick up a couple of wins for our new partner Textron while representing their Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker and Textron Off Road brands. I’m confident we’ll have another fast Tundra Saturday and with the draft coming into play in the truck races at Michigan, it’s going to take teamwork between all three of the KBM trucks to get to victory lane at the end of the day.”

 

Kevin “Bono” Manion, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS Textron Off Road Tundra:

What will it take to get the win Saturday at Michigan International Speedway?

“Saturday will be our last race this season with Kyle (Busch) behind the wheel and we want to take as much advantage of it as we can. Kyle has won at Michigan in all three series and he knows his way around the track. This is a track where working with our KBM teammates is important because of the draft. We’ve unloaded fast Tundras so far with Kyle behind the wheel and I’m confident we will do this same this weekend. The No. 51 team has been working very hard and I hope we can get that third win Saturday afternoon.”

 

Kyle Busch’s No. 51 Textron Off Road Tundra:

KBM-046: The No. 51 Textron Off Road team will race KBM-046 for Saturday’s LTi Printing 200. This is a brand-new Tundra.

Notes of Interest:

Kyle Busch @ Michigan International Speedway:

  • Has registered one win, one pole, 240 laps led, seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 5.4 across nine career NCWTS starts

  • In 10 NXS starts, he’s recorded two wins, two poles, 234 laps led, nine top-five and nine top-10 finishes

  • In 25 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, has collected one win, one pole, 219 laps led, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes

Series

Races

Win

T5

T10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvFn

RAF

Miles

LLF

NCWTS

9

1

7

8

1

863

240

5.4

8

1726.0

8

NXS

10

2

9

9

2

1253

234

4.0

10

2506.0

10

MENCS

25

1

4

7

1

4337

219

19.9

22

8674.0

16

Kyle Busch’s Michigan NCWTS Performance Profile:

 

Date

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

6/18/05

1

2

100/100

17

Running

6/16/07

3

2

100/100

38

Running

6/14/08

6

7

100/100

0

Running

6/13/09

4

2

100/100

62

Running

6/12/10

8

 3

100/100

25

Running

8/20/11

13

25

63/102

7

Radiator

8/17/13

7

2

100/100

33

Running

8/16/14

11

5

100/100

14

Running

8/15/15

10

1

100/100

44

Running

 

Kyle Busch 2017 Camping World Truck Series Highlights:

  • Qualified fourth at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and led a race-high 90 laps to capture his second NCWTS victory of 2017

  • Qualified 10th at Kansas Speedway and led a race-high 91 laps en route to his first NCWTS victory of 2017

  • Qualified second, led 25 laps and posted an average running position of 5.5 in his first NCWTS start of 2017 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, but was relegated to a 26th-place finish after a late-race tire issue

Kyle Busch 2016 Camping World Truck Series Highlights:

  • Posted two wins, 245 laps led, three top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.5 across three NCWTS starts

  • Led a race-high 123 laps en route to his first NCWTS victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (4/2/16)

  • Led a race-high 95 laps in his fifth NCWTS victory in six career NCWTS starts at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

Kyle Busch Camping World Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • Ranks first all-time among NCWTS drivers in average finish (7.1), second in wins (48), fourth in laps led (6,084) and fifth in poles (17)

  • Has won 35.0% (48/138) of the NCWTS races he has entered and finished first or second in 52.1% (72/138)

  • 177 all-time combined NASCAR national series wins rank second all-time (Richard Petty 200)

  • As an owner-driver in 2010, his series-leading eight wins helped Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) become the first team since the NCWTS originated in 1995 to capture an Owner’s Championship in its inaugural season

  • Contributed to back-to-back NCWTS Owner’s Championships for KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team in 2013 and 2014, by leading the series in wins with five in 2013 and seven in 2014

  • In August of 2010, made history when he won the NCWTS, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Sprint Monster Energy Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway, becoming the only driver to sweep all three of NASCAR’s top three series at one track on the same weekend

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Tundra:

  • The No. 51 team has earned two wins (Kansas and Charlotte), two top-five, three top-10 finishes, 242 laps led and an average finish of 14.0 across 12 races in 2017 and currently rank eighth in the NCWTS Owner’s points standings

  • The No. 51 Tundra team has compiled 22 of KBM’s 61 NCWTS victories, the most of any truck number in the team’s stable

KBM NCWTS Program:

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (62), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and mostOwner’s championships (five)

  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015

  • Has collected 62 wins, 33 poles, 144 top-five and 233 top-10 finishes across 386 starts since originating in 2010

  • Nine different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 32. Erik Jones and Williams Byron each collected seven victories, Christopher Bell has six wins, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one triumph

  • Has collected victories at all 21 tracks on the 2017 schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Michigan International Speedway:

  • KBM drivers have collected one win, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.6 across 14 starts at Michigan

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch earned the organization its only win at the two-mile track after leading 44 laps to the checkered flag in 2015

The Manion Report:

Kevin “Bono” Manion guided KBM’s No. 51 team to one win, one pole, four top-five and seven-top 10 finishes with four different drivers behind the wheel last year in his first season as a Truck Series crew chief. Prior to joining KBM, the Massachusetts native collected five victories in 10 seasons atop the pit box in NASCAR’s premier series, including two marquee wins with Jamie McMurray in 2010; the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. Before graduating into NASCAR’s top division, he guided Martin Truex Jr., to back-to-back NASCAR XFINITY Series titles in 2004 and 2005. In addition to his five Monster Energy Cup Series victories, Manion boasts 15 XFINITY Series wins; 13 with Truex Jr., and two with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Manion’s lone Truck Series race at Michigan resulted in a 20th-place finish with Cody Coughlin last season. He earned two top-five and two top-10 finishes in two XFINITY Series starts with Martin Truex Jr. While calling the shots in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Manion earned two top-five and two top-10 finishes in 19 starts at Michigan

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 Toyota Tundra 2017 NCWTS Box Score:

Date

Site

Driver

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

Owner Pts./Pos.

2/24

Daytona

Snider

13

10

100/100

0

Running

30/13

3/4

Atlanta

Busch

2

26

127/130

25

Running

59/9

4/1

Martinsville

Burton

   7

13

250/250

0

Running

87/10

5/12

Kansas

Busch

10

1

167/167

91

Running

147/3

5/19

Charlotte

Busch

4

1

134/134

90

Running

207/3

6/2

Dover

Burton

10

13

198/200

0

Running

235/3

6/9

Texas

Snider

13

16

160/167

0

Accident

 265/5

6/17

Gateway

Gilliland

4

21

112/160

0

Transmission

278/6

6/23

Iowa

Burton

15

11

199/200

0

Running

304/5

7/6

Kentucky

Snider

6

16

149/150

4

Running

332/5

7/19

Eldora

Burton

23

15

150/150

0

Running

354/8

7/29

Pocono

Busch

2

25

36/60

32

Accident

385/8

 TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Despite A Few Race Mishaps Kyle Finishes Seventh At The Glen

Kyle Busch

Date:  Aug. 6, 2017

Event:  I LOVE NEW YORK 355k at The Glen (Round 22 of 36)

Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Location:  Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (2.45-mile, 11-turn road course)

Format:  90 laps, broken into three stages (20 laps/20 laps/50 laps)

Start/Finish:  1st/7th (Running, completed 90 of 90 laps)

Point Standing:  2nd with 765 points, 116 out of first

 

Race Winner:      Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner:Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Daniel Suarez of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):

● Kyle Busch started first, finished first.

● Busch dominated Stage 1 of Sunday’s I LOVE NEW YORK 355k, leading all 20 laps.

● At the conclusion of Stage 1, Busch reported minor handling issues related to right-hand turns, with the car handling a little snug in the center of the turns and then loose at the exits. The team changed four tires, added fuel and made minor air pressure and chassis adjustments during the caution. Quick pit work enabled Busch to win the race off pit road.

● Upon returning to the track Busch quickly reported that it felt like the left-front wheel was loose. He brought the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota to pit road, where the team discovered that a lug nut had gotten wedged between the wheel and the caliper. The team changed four tires and Busch returned to the track in 32nd place.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):

● Busch started 32nd, finished ninth.

● The 2015 NASCAR Cup champion quietly logged laps and picked up positions throughout the duration of Stage 2. He was back in the top-15 by lap 32, cracked the top-10 just five laps later at lap 37 and was in ninth place by the time Stage 2 concluded.

 Exercising some strategy, the team elected to stay out between the second and third stages to maintain track position.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 41-90):

● Busch started ninth, finished seventh.

● A number of teams exercised the same strategy as the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel team, staying out between the second and third stages. Busch quickly went to work trying to make his way back to the lead.

● Misfortune struck quickly in Stage 3 as Busch was attempting to pass driver Brad Keselowski in the inner loop on lap 45. Keselowski misjudged the turn and made contact with the No. 18 car, sending it spinning. Busch was able to keep the No. 18 from sustaining too much damage but had to make a trip to pit road for four tires and fuel. By the time he returned to the track Busch was in 33rd place.

● A full-course caution on lap 51 allowed Busch to catch up to the field. He made a trip to pit road for four tires, fuel and minor adjustments. Quick pit work placed him in 24th place for the restart. He set to work again, driving through the field. By lap 60 he was up to 12th and was back among the top-10 on lap 63.

● Busch was able to race his way to seventh place by the time the checkered flag waved.

 

Notes:

● Busch led one time for 21 laps.

● Busch won Stage 1 to score his ninth stage win of 2017.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kyle Busch Logs NXS Victory Number 90 At The Glen

Kyle Busch & Brad Keselowski
With a victory in Saturday’s Zippo 200, Kyle Busch continued to tick items off his bucket list.

Recovering from a wheel-hop and spin in Turn 1 on Lap 17 of 82 along with a penalty for driving through too many pit boxes, Busch claimed his first NASCAR XFINITY Series win at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International road course, beating polesitter Joey Logano to the finish line by 1.049 seconds.

“The cars have really been working for me here and it just feels so good to finally win an XFINITY race here,” said Busch, who won last week at Pocono for the first time in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car.

“We’ve been so close so many times. One of my favorite runs here was in a Zippo car (in 2008) and being in the Zippo race today that’s kind of ironic – I guess they sponsor it every year — but being with (owner) Eddie D’Hondt and the Zippo car, I remember we were really, really fast and wish we would’ve got that one.”

In winning for the fourth time this season and the 90th time in his career, Busch grabbed the lead when Brad Keselowski and Logano came to pit road together on Lap 49.

Busch gained time by staying on the track for five more laps, and by the time he exited pit road on lap 55, he was 1.2 seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski and more than 10 seconds ahead of Joey Logano, who had a lengthy pit stop because of a stuck lug nut.

“Pit road was pretty good for us,” Busch said. “We stayed out long on that one run, and we were able to cycle back up to the lead. It worked two weeks in a row that way. I don’t know how much longer we can do that before they figure it out, but it’s been working for us, so we’ll take it.”

Busch held the top spot the rest of the way, surviving a restart with three laps left after Casey Mears ran out of fuel and stalled on the track to bring out the fifth and final caution of the afternoon. Busch chose the inside lane for the restart to control the preferred line into Turn 1.

The restart brought Logano back near the front of the field, and on the next-to-last lap, he passed Keselowski, his Team Penske teammate, for the runner-up spot.

“Dang, I wish it was for the win and not for second,” Logano said of the battle with Keselowski. “I had such a good short run car, just in the wrong position to start that last run. I feel like, if I was second, I could have won the race. I just had a really good short-run car.

“Our long-run speed was off a bit, and that’s when the 18 (Busch) and 22 (Keselowski) would drive by us, and we were a third-place car on the long run, but probably a winning car on the short run. By the time I cleared the 22, the 18 was gone. If we had another four or five laps, (he would have drove off again). I needed a caution.”

Check out the unofficial results of the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Is Kyle Busch Starting A Summer Hot Streak?

Kyle Busch

As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season heads into the heat of the summer in August, don’t look now, but Kyle Busch might just be getting ready to go on another summer hot streak.

Busch, the driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) brought home his first points race victory last weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, which also happened to be his first win in NASCAR’s top series at the 2.5-mile triangle. The win was a long time coming, as Busch had come so very close to victory lane several times thus far this season. In fact, Busch’s 1,114 laps led this season is the second-most in the series behind Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. who has led 1,291. As competitive as the M&M’S Caramel team has been in 2017, it was only a matter of time before they made a trip back to victory lane.

With a new trophy on the mantle, Busch now heads to Upstate New York for the second and final road-course race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Busch will no doubt have an opportunity to start a late summer hot streak this weekend when the series visits Watkins Glen (N.Y) International. With his win at Pocono, the 39th of his Cup Series career, Busch is virtually a lock for NASCAR’s playoffs, as he now looks to add as many bonus points as possible for stage wins and race wins to use throughout the 10-race playoff push.

If the Las Vegas native were to grab another checkered flag in Sunday’s I Love New York 355k at The Glen and make it two wins in-a-row in 2017, he could also join some elite company as a road-racing ace in NASCAR’s top series.

Busch is tied with David Pearson and Mark Martin with four Cup Series road-course wins apiece. That’s some pretty good company, already. But with a fifth road-course win, he could tie Darrell Waltrip, Tim Richmond and Dan Gurney on the road-course win list. There is a bit of distance to the top two spots on the all-time road-course wins list, however, as second-place Jeff Gordon has seven wins and leader Tony Stewart has nine.

Busch scored his fourth career Cup Series road-course win in June 2015 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, and he heads to Watkins Glen with an impressive nine top-10 finishes in his 12 career starts at The Glen, which includes two victories. Add an average finish of 10.1, along with his 195 laps led, and Busch’s record is quite dazzling at the site of Sunday’s 355-kilometer race.

After Busch’s inaugural Cup Series victory at The Glen in 2008, he nearly won for the second time on the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course in his 2011 and 2012 visits there before breaking through again in 2013 with another victory in New York’s scenic Finger Lakes region. A third victory Sunday at The Glen would continue to solidify Busch and the M&M’S Caramel team as the favorite each time the series comes to town.

So as Busch heads to Upstate New York for some road racing this weekend, he would like to accomplish two things – add to his summer hot streak while also adding to the record books as one of NASCAR’s best road-course racers.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
You’ve had some success at Watkins Glen. What makes Watkins Glen challenging, and why is it so much different than racing at Sonoma?

I like going to Watkins Glen. It’s a road course, but it’s kind of a high-speed road course. The difference in the two road courses, you think of Sonoma as like a Martinsville-type road course and you would think of Watkins Glen like a 2-mile oval, like a California- or Michigan-type road course. Watkins Glen has some speed and has some wide-open spaces a little bit, but there is still a lot great racing that happens there since you are able to out-brake people getting into the corners, or having a better run through the bus stop, or maybe getting by someone in the carousel. It’s a fun place to race. I really like Watkins Glen and I hope that we can have another solid run there with our M&M’S Caramel Camry.”

Would you like to see more road-course races on the Cup Series Schedule?

“I wouldn’t mind more road-course races in the schedule. I think you have four restrictor-plate races, and you’ve got one speedway race in the playoffs, so why not make it four road-course races in the season and perhaps one road course race in the playoffs. That seems pretty even to me. At the same time, it’s easier said than done if you are NASCAR because you don’t know where you would be able to take away some races to add more road courses, but also add a track that has good enough weather later in the year to run there.”

What is the most fun part of a lap at Watkins Glen?

“To me, going through turn one and up through the esses is pretty cool and a lot of fun. It’s challenging, yet a lot of fun. As you come down the front straightaway, it’s a downhill braking zone, so you feel like you don’t have to brake as soon as you need to, but you need to in order to get slowed down for turn one. You try to stay out and get a good, hard cut to the right for turn one and accelerate out of there as quickly as you can to get set up for the esses. (You) stay wide on the left and then turn into the right-hander in (turn) two – smooth. You’re getting out of the gas but not using too much brake, just rolling off in there. As the car gets in there and loads, it actually takes a really big set because that’s when you start going back uphill. So the car will load up and that’s when you get back in the gas really wide open. And then you have to turn back to the left and be able to roll back out of it just enough to make the car bend. And then you’re back wide open again to the right-side guardrail and just keeping it tight through the right-hander that we call turn five.”

What is the most challenging part of a lap at Watkins Glen?

“I’d say the most challenging thing is the culmination of the inner loop and the carousel. All of that together is a lot harder to figure out how to make speed through there than just going through there traditionally. That’s an area of the racetrack a lot of guys really try to abuse. They’ll get off on the right side, get off on the left side and throw dirt up on the racetrack and then it just makes for a real mess.”

What does it take to be successful at Watkins Glen?

“At Watkins Glen, the biggest thing is pit strategy. Obviously, you’ve got to pick and choose when you’re going to pit and stick to your plan. Whether or not we can still do it on two stops I’m unsure of because Sonoma turned into a three-stop race for us all because the new fuel mileage is a little bit off from where we were last year. At Watkins Glen, though, you definitely have to be good at being able to carry speed, obviously, through the esses and down the long backstretch. That seems to be the key part of the racetrack.”

M&M’S Caramel Racing

Race 22 of 36 – I Love New York 355k – Watkins Glen

Car No.: 18 – M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry

 

Teammates:  Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19 Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.

 

At-Track PR Contact: Bill Janitz, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 803 or Bill.Janitz@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas

 

Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio

 

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

 

Race Engineer: Ben Beshore

Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania

 

Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

 

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Tom Lampe

Hometown: Beatrice, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie

Hometown: Mount Clemens, Michigan

 

Jackman: TJ Ford

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

Hometown: Orange County, Virginia

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber

Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York

 

Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara

Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio

 

Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Pit Support: Jeff Koons

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price

Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher

Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York

 

Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape

Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

 

Race Engineer: Tyler Allen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

 

Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase

Hometown: Nichols, New York

 

Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones

Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

 

Mechanic: Todd Foster

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

 

Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth

Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois

Notes of Interest:
  • The I Love NY 355k at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International will mark Kyle Busch’s 448th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 13th NASCAR Cup Series start at Watkins Glen.
  • Busch has career totals of 39 wins, 24 poles, 155 top-five finishes, 230 top-10s and 13,470 laps led in 447 career Cup Series racesHis most recent Cup Series win came last weekend at Pocono (Pa.) raceway. Busch’s most recent pole, the 24th of his career, also came last weekend at Pocono and he now has five total for the season.
  • Busch has two wins, five top-five finishes and 10 top-10s and has led a total of 195 laps in 12 career Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen. Busch’s average Watkins Glen finish is 10.1.
  • 13,000: After leading 100 laps at Pocono in June, Busch bested the 13,000 mark in laps led in NASCAR’s top series. With his current 13,470 Cup Series laps led, Busch is just the 11th driver to best the 13,000 mark.
  • 100th: Busch brought home Toyota’s maiden Cup series victory in March of 2008. Fast forward nine years later and Busch’s Pocono win was the 100th for the Toyota Camry brand in NASCAR’s top series. Busch has brought home 35 of those 100 victories for the manufacturer. The win was also Toyota’s 400th victory among NASCAR’s top three series. Among those 400 wins, Busch has 155 of those wins.
  • Starting Up Front: Enroute to his win at Pocono last weekend, Busch captured the pole position earlier in the day, which was the fifth of 2017 for the Las Vegas native. Five poles is the most poles Busch has captured during any season of his career. In fact, prior to 2017, the most poles Busch had captured in a season was three, which he did on two different occasions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
  • All-Star Winner: In addition to last weekend’s win at Pocono, Busch brought home a non-points victory in May’s All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, as the M&M’S Caramel brand is now two for three in races so far this year. The win was Busch’s first victory in his 12th start in the All-Star Race, the largest number of starts before an All-Star Race win. The previous high was held by Tony Stewart with 11 All-Star starts before his win in 2009.
  • 39 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Pocono, the 39th points-paying win of his career, Busch now sits tied for 18th on the all-time Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock.
  • One Left: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City added to the list last season, and now Pocono crossed off the list in 2017, Busch has won Cup Series points races at 22 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only track remaining to conquer in the Cup Series is Charlotte. Busch, of course, was the winner of the All-Star non-points race at Charlotte back in May but is still chasing a points-paying Cup Series victory there. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Five of Busch’s last seven Cup Series wins have been his first at each track in NASCAR’s top series (Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville, Kansas, and Pocono). Of the 22 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
  • All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win last July, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 35 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33 following the Pocono win.
  • 176 and Counting: Busch enters Watkins Glen with 175 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (39), Xfinity (89) and Truck (48) following his Cup Series win last weekend at Pocono.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kyle Busch Breaks A 36 Race Winless Streak And Wins At Pocono

Kyle Busch
Barely more than three hours after the Pocono crowd greeted Kyle Busch with a chorus of boos during driver introductions, Kyle Busch made converts of the fans in the grandstands – at least a large portion of them – with a spectacular burnout after his long-awaited victory in the Overton’s 400.

Benefitting from a splendid pit call by crew chief Adam Stevens, Busch charged through the field after his final stop and pulled away to beat runner-up Kevin Harvick to the finish line by a whopping 6.178 seconds, breaking a career-long 36-race drought and giving Toyota its 100th victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

The win was Busch’s first at Pocono Raceway, leaving Charlotte Motor Speedway as the only active Cup track the driver of the No. 18 Camry hasn’t conquered.

Having won his fourth Pocono pole earlier in the day – on the first instance where the Monster Energy Series drivers have qualified and raced on the same day in NASCAR’s modern era – Busch recorded the 39th victory of his career when he took the checkered flag.

“It’s been a frustrating year, but an awesome day today,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “This is also a meaningful win for me in another way. This is the first time I’ve been to victory lane in a points-paying race since my grandmother passed away. This one’s for her, and she’s smiling down on us here today, and I appreciate that.”

Harvick came to pit road for the final time on Lap 124. Eventual third-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. pitted two laps later, leaving Busch on the track to lead 10 of his race-high 63 laps in clean air.

When Busch finally hit pit lane on Lap 135, he left with fresher tires than those on the cars ahead of him and in short order, picked off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who finished fourth, and Truex.

Busch and crew chief Adam Stevens had discussed the strategy before the race.

“I knew what he was thinking and that’s what it all came down to,” Busch said. “We didn’t really outsmart anyone today. We just kind of played our race and our own strategy and thought about it a little differently than others, and it worked out for us.”

Busch caught Harvick in Turn 3 on Lap 144 of 160, and when Harvick got loose and slowed in the corner, Busch gave the No. 4 Ford an inadvertent shot to the rear bumper. Busch flashed past Harvick and was gone.

“The only chance that I had was to get into the corner correctly,” Harvick explained. “I got in there and was loose all the way through the corner on entry and just kept holding the brake down, holding the brake down, holding the brake down and finally, I’m sure he thought I was going to go and I didn’t accelerate.

“I was trying to stay on the bottom to park the thing to get going and he had a good run. Kyle had the class of the field all weekend. His car was really, really fast. He got the pole. Got the win. Pretty much just charged through the field. We definitely have a little bit of work to do. I feel like we got closer and closer. I feel like we raced around all the Toyotas all day.”

Busch collected his eighth stage win of the season when he took the green/checkered flag at the end of Lap 50, and the victory gave him an additional five playoff points, bringing his season total to 13, tied for third in that category with Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski.

Clint Bowyer collected his first stage win of the season on Lap 100, after Truex, Busch, Harvick and Hamlin all came to pit road just before the end of the stage to set up their prospects for a race win. Bowyer finished sixth behind Keselowski.

Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth (who recovered from a spin in Turn 3 on the first lap) and Chase Elliott completed the top 10.

Check out the unofficial results of the Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!