A Thoroughbred at Kentucky

 

A Thoroughbred at Kentucky

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Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 14:27
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 Kyle Busch is the only driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in the history of Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Of course, in reality, there’s only been one Sprint Cup race ever contested at the 1.5-mile oval in the Bluegrass State as the series ran its inaugural even there last July.

Regardless of how many Sprint Cup races have been run at Kentucky, Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Red, White and Blue Toyota, has been quite the top-notch thoroughbred in the state perhaps best known for its world-class horse-racing industry. The talented 27-year-old has notched victories at Kentucky in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions – Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck. Add his 2003 ARCA series win at Kentucky and Busch has been victorious in four racing divisions and has made quite a Kentucky home of his own in the Bluegrass State’s second-most-famous victory lane.

At the ripe age of 18, Busch dominated the 2003 ARCA race at Kentucky while competing for Hendrick Motorsports. He led a race-high 91 laps en route to the victory.

He returned to the Bluegrass State the following year and found victory lane again, this time in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at the 1.5-mile oval. In all, Busch has one win, three top-fives, and has led 311 laps in five Nationwide Series starts there.

He also won last year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race to give him three top-10 finishes and 117 laps led in three Truck Series starts at the speedway.

This weekend’s special Red, White and Blue M&M’S paint scheme Busch will pilot in search of his second consecutive Sprint Cup win at Kentucky is in support of the limited-edition Red, White and Blue-only bags of M&M’s now in stores. The new patriotic blend is designed to be the perfect snack during the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Busch carried the patriotic scheme during his third-place run in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May and will sport it again this weekend in honor of the Fourth of July holiday to be celebrated next week.

In addition to Busch’s stellar career statistics at Kentucky, his crew chief Dave Rogers sports a record that is equally as impressive as his current driver. While Rogers’ bio lists his hometown as Marshfield, Vt., the 38-year-old crew chief absolutely owned Kentucky Speedway in 2008 and 2009 while calling the shots for JGR’s No. 20 Nationwide Series team and driver Joey Logano. In their two Nationwide Series starts together at Kentucky, Logano and Rogers won both races from the pole and led a total of 96 laps. The 2008 victory was not only the first of many for the tandem of Rogers and Logano, it was also Logano’s first career Nationwide Series win in just his third start in the series after the young driver celebrated his 18th birthday just one month prior.

When Busch takes the green flag for Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 in his M&M’s Red, White and Blue colors, he’ll go to the whip once again in hopes of adding to his already stellar record in a multitude of stock-car divisions at the 1.5-mile racetrack. After all, there’s certainly something special about being able to call yourself the top thoroughbred for the second straight year at Kentucky.

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Steven B. Wilson

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