The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has produced 11 different winners through 18 races, the halfway point of the season. Surprisingly absent from the group is 2015 champion Kyle Busch, who’s won nine races the last two seasons.
Busch will attempt to visit Victory Lane for the first time this year in Sunday’s Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – a track where he’s taken the checkered flag twice.
“New Hampshire is a Martinsville-like short track, but it’s just over a mile,” said Busch, who in addition to his two New Hampshire wins, boasts nine top fives, 13 top 10s and a 13.8 average finish there. “It’s a little more spread out, but there’s some rooting and gouging going on because it’s a one-lane track and everybody fights for that particular groove.”
Busch enters the race coming off a fifth-place finish at Kentucky where he led 112-of-274 laps. He has seven top-10 finishes, including five top-five showings in his last nine starts.
The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver sits third in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 100 markers behind leader Martin Truex Jr. Busch owns four playoff points earned from his four stage wins.
“You don’t (want to make a mistake at New Hampshire) because you’re always on edge there,” Busch said. “You’re trying to go as fast as you can into the corners, as deep as you can into the corners while rolling as much speed, or just a bit higher than everyone else so you are able to get back to the gas sooner. You’re going harder than everyone else in order to make the straightaway a little bit longer and get your momentum built back up. It’s definitely a challenging racetrack.”
Will Kyle erase the goose egg on his 2017 win totals? That question will be answered Sunday afternoon at Louden, NH.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!