Kyle Busch’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series resume at Watkins Glen International doesn’t completely tell the story of his eight career starts at the road course in Upstate New York.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has notched an impressive seven top-10 finishes in those eight starts at The Glen. One of those top-10s was his 2008 victory and, when adding his average finish of 9.0 along with his 159 laps led, Busch’s record is quite dazzling at the site of Sunday’s 355k at The Glen.
But while Busch’s record is impressive at The Glen, he won’t soon forget the two that got away from him.
In addition to Busch’s 2008 win there, he came agonizingly close to his second Sprint Cup win on the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course his last two visits there. In 2011, after leading three times for a race-high 49 laps, Busch found himself in a three-wide situation on a late restart with Brad Keselowski and eventual race-winner Marcos Ambrose. Busch was forced to fall back and had to settle for a second-place finish after an otherwise dominant day by the M&M’s team.
Then, last year, Busch again found himself in the lead as the white flag flew at The Glen. But oil on the racetrack slowed him dramatically on the last lap as, again Keselowski and Ambrose closed in on him entering turn two, and Keselowski made contact with Busch, sending him spinning. Busch recovered to finish seventh, but it was another bitter pill to swallow at The Glen when he yet again had victory within his grasp.
While he has proven his worth over the years on road courses, in general, Busch will understandably be looking for redemption Sunday after being so close to winning at The Glen in 2011 and 2012.
Also, with just five races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship field is set, Busch sits sixth in the standings and in a much better position than a year ago, when he was 15th and battling to crack the top-10 in points and the chance to make NASCAR’s playoffs. But with two wins thus far and a solid points position, a third win this season would add precious bonus points in the initial Chase standings if Busch and the M&M’s team can close the deal Sunday in the New York’s Fingers Lakes region.
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