Scorching hot Kyle Busch blazes into Indianapolis looking for a third straight win

Staff Report - NASCAR Wire Service Thursday, Jul 23 1183
Kyle Busch has been racking up victories at the same rapid pace Taylor Swift produces chart-topping hits.

The No. 18 Toyota driver has won the past two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and three of the last four. His three wins in a mere eight starts since returning from a broken right leg and fractured left foot rank second in the series to Jimmie Johnson, who has accumulated four checkered flags in 19 starts.

“It’s been cool,” Busch said about his frequent visits to Victory Lane. “I just can’t say enough about this group of guys behind me, everyone on this team and Adam Stevens (crew chief) and my pit crew.”

Busch will attempt to become the first driver since Johnson in 2007 to take the checkered flag in three consecutive races when he takes control of the wheel in Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network). In 2007, Johnson won four straight races during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup en route to his second career premier series championship.

“I think the biggest thing about the Brickyard is the prestige, the track’s history and quality of racing – all the historic finishes it’s had over the years, whether it has been IndyCar or NASCAR,” Busch said. “To me, it’s a special place to go to because of its heritage of being Indianapolis.

“Getting our Skittles Camry to Victory Lane there would be special for a lot of reasons.”

Busch has been strong at Indianapolis, finishing runner-up last season and in 2012, but he’s still searching for his first checkered flag at the 2.5-mile track. In 10 Brickyard starts, he's posted three top fives and eight top 10s. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has been able to produce quality finishes even though he’s only started within the top 10 once at the track known for being hard to pass.

“If you are back in traffic, it’s a little more frustrating because it can be hard to pass (at Indianapolis),” Busch said. “But, if you have a fast race car, being able to cut the middle and get down the long, fast straightaways is important there. We’ve run well there the past couple of times. We haven’t qualified well, though, and I think we need to focus on qualifying when we get there and, if we can do that, we will be a heck of a lot better off for the race.”