KyBu Hanging With Miles

Kyle Busch

As Kyle Busch heads to Sunday’s 400-miler at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway, the goal at the end of the weekend will be to hang with Miles, which of course is Miles the Monster, the trophy awarded to race winners at the track aptly named the “Monster Mile”.

M&M’S newest flavor, returns to Busch’s No. 18 Toyota Camry TRD this weekend for the fourth time this season. The flavor went to victory lane when it last appeared with Busch two weekends ago at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. M&M’S Crunchy Cookie combines two favorite treats – M&M’S and chocolate chip cookies – and is now available nationwide. It’s bound to give race fans a fun, nostalgic snack to enjoy during Sunday’s race.

Busch and his M&M’S Crunchy Cookie team have a strong resume on the concrete high banks of the Monster Mile, when Busch scored his third career and most recent Cup Series win there in October 2017 with a dramatic, late-race pass of Chase Elliott.

In addition to his three career wins at Dover, Busch and his M&M’S Crunchy Cookie team have some impressive stats to bolster their confidence this weekend. Along with the wins in NASCAR’s top series there, Busch has scored five NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins. He’s led 1,213 laps in his previous 33 Cup Series starts there, an average of almost 40 laps led per race. Busch has also scored 13 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s at the track.

Busch has gained some momentum in recent weeks, highlighted by his win at Bristol, which essentially locked him and his No, 18 team into the playoffs. Last weekend, Busch enjoyed a solid third-place run at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, helping him inch up closer to the top of the driver standings, where he sits in fourth place heading to this weekend at Dover.

This weekend, Busch and the M&M’S Crunchy Cookie team will have one goal, and it’s not much different than it is for any other race. But the unique twist this time is the chance to “Hang with Miles” in victory lane following Sunday afternoon’s 400-miler on the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware’s capital city.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Crunchy Cookie Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

What is it about Dover that seems to suit your style?

“I used to think I was one of the better guys that could run the bottom but, lately, you really don’t wrap the bottom as much as you did in years prior to that. It’s kind of moved around and it’s a little bit different and you kind of diamond the corners a bit now, so I feel like that’s a bit easier for the whole field to kind of understand. The tires change every single year and we have a new car and new tire this time around. How the rubber goes down on the track at Dover makes it one of those really big, tire-sensitive tracks where, as the rubber goes down and the grip changes, you search around and try to find other grooves to run in. So there’s a lot going on at Dover that you have to try to figure out. We’ll do our best this weekend to make sense of all that during the short practice and the race and have another strong run with our M&M’S Crunchy Cookie Toyota.”

With three wins at Dover, what is it you like about the Monster Mile?

“I always enjoy Dover. It’s a place you don’t want to be afraid of. You want to go out there and attack the place and give it everything you’ve got. It’s a really unique track. People say it reminds them of Bristol, but it really doesn’t for me. It’s a concrete surface and it’s relatively high banked and you carry a lot of speed into the corner there a lot longer than you do on the straightaway. It’s a place where handling characteristics take up most of your worries and make sure you are good in the corners, and I’ve just always loved going there.”

How would you describe the feel of racing at Dover?

“It’s called the Monster Mile for a reason. It’s almost like going around a circle in a rollercoaster. The drop-off you have going into the corners, the sustained load that you have, as well as the G-force of turning around that turn and going back in the other direction.”

What did you think of Dover when you first ran there?

“I went there when I was 18 to race in the Xfinity Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you race there. You carry so much speed at that racetrack and, for it to be a mile in length and for it to be concrete – concrete surfaces that we race on, anyway, are a little bit slick. It’s definitely a rollercoaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place. There are two ways about it – you can probably be really, really good there, or really, really bad there. Some days you’re going to be better than others, obviously, with how you can get your car set up compared to the competition.”

Event Overview:

● Event: DuraMAX Drydene 400 (Round 11 of 36)

● Time/Date: 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 1

● Location: Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway

● Layout: 1-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 400 laps/400 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 120 laps / Stage 2: 130 laps / Final Stage: 150 laps

● TV/Radio: FS1 / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Meet the No. 18 M&M’S Crunchy Cookie / Joe Gibbs Racing Team

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas

Crew Chief: Ben Beshore

Hometown: York, Pennsylvania

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Race Engineer: Seth Chavka

Hometown: Soldotna, Alaska

Race Engineer: Jaik Halpainy

Hometown: Blockville, New York

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Matt Tyrrell

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Front Tire Changer: Thomas Hatcher

Hometown: Middleburg, Florida

Jackman: Kellen Mills

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

Tire Carrier: CJ Bailey

Hometown: Outer Banks, North Carolina

Rear Tire Changer: Lee Cunningham

Hometown: Leaf River, Illinois

Road Crew Members:

Engine Tuner: Dan Bajek

Hometown: Camden, New York

Truck Driver: Chris Miko

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Truck Driver: Mike Curtis

Hometown: Grandby, Connecticut

Mechanic/Tire Specialist: Justin Peiffer

Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Mechanic: Scott Eldridge

Hometown: Warsaw, Indiana

Mechanic: Tony Hamm

Hometown: Walla, Walla, Washington

Notes of Interest:

All in the Stats: Busch has three wins, 13 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s and has led a total of 1,213 laps in 33 career Cup Series starts at Dover. Busch’s average Dover finish is 14.2.

In the Loop: Busch leads all active drivers in several statistical categories at Dover, including quality passes, laps in the top-15, and driver rating.

Dover Success: The Las Vegas native found success at Dover in his first three seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing, as Busch brought home Cup Series wins there in 2008 and 2010. Busch then went seven years without a victory at Dover until he made a dramatic, late-race pass of Chase Elliott in the 2017 playoff race. He had nine top-five finishes between his Dover victories and has had many strong runs at the concrete mile oval.

223 and Counting: Busch will be aiming to add to his record 223 overall wins among NASCAR’s top three series this weekend at Dover. In addition to his 60 Cup Series wins and 102 in the Xfinity Series, Busch has 61 wins in the Camping World Truck Series.

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

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