And along the way, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, has certainly lived up to Interstate’s slogan of “Outrageously Dependable,” winning two of the last three Sprint Cup races. He’ll look to add another as the series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for Sunday’s New Hampshire 301.
Busch added his second win of the season Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and is looking for more at a place where he has seen success before. He brought home his first New Hampshire victory in July 2006, a win that came in dominating fashion in which he led 107 laps. That gave the Las Vegas native plenty of confidence that he could get multiple wins at the “Magic Mile” over the rest of his career, and his next chance comes this weekend.
Despite numerous strong runs at New Hampshire in the 17 Sprint Cup starts there since his 2006 victory, none have ended with a celebration in victory lane for Busch. The driver of the Interstate Batteries Toyota has posted five top-five finishes in those 17 starts, including two runner-up finishes in his last three starts there. In all, Busch has seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 20 starts at New Hampshire.
Busch is coming off two particularly strong seasons at the New England track – second-place finishes in both 2013 Sprint Cup races along with second- and eighth-place finishes, respectively, in the 2014 stops. Outside the Sprint Cup ranks, Busch has four wins, one pole and six top-five results in nine NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Loudon to go with three wins, one pole and six top-10s in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
Busch has only seven Sprint Cup starts thus far in 2015 since returning from injury in May at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. After two wins in the last three weeks, the next order of business is New Hampshire as he looks to continue his march toward a berth in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs. His two wins would normally lock Busch into the Chase, but he still must finish the regular season in the top-30 in the driver standings in order to be eligible. He was granted a Chase exemption after missing the first 11 races of the season while recovering from injuries suffered at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February. With his two wins in-hand, including the maximum 48 points scored Saturday night at Kentucky, Busch’s gap to 30th-place Cole Whitt in the driver standings is down to 87 points with eight regular-season races remaining.
So, as NASCAR’s top series heads to New Hampshire for Sunday’s New Hampshire 301, Busch will look to continue his hot streak in front of the many Interstate Batteries distributors and dealers across New England.