Aside from NASCAR’s biggest events like the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway or the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a win at the hometown racetrack is high on the priority list for many in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Las Vegas native Kyle Busch crossed off an all-important hometown win in just his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s Kobalt 400.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and 2002 honors graduate of Las Vegas’ Durango High School would like to double his number of Sprint Cup wins at the 1.5-mile oval after he brought home that emotional first win there in 2009.
Driving the yellow M&M’S Toyota that day, Busch qualified on the pole but was forced to start at the rear of the field because the team needed to change engines during Friday practice. Unfazed, Busch remained patient on race day as he and the M&M’S team worked their way to the front of the field by the 54th lap. Busch went on to lead three times for 51 laps en route to claiming what he called at the time the biggest win of his young career.
While that win was special, Busch already was no stranger to winning on Las Vegas Motor Speedway property. From 1999 to 2001, he earned more than 65 wins in Legends cars while racking up two track championships at the facility’s “Bullring,” which existed for several years before the 1.5-mile oval was built. Busch eventually moved up to Late Model Stock cars and his winning ways continued as he captured 10 victories in Late Model competition at the Bullring in 2001.
In addition to celebrations at the Bullring and the aforementioned 2009 Sprint Cup win in his hometown, Busch is also returning to the site of the official celebration of his 2015 Sprint Cup championship, which took place in Las Vegas last December. With the M&M’S brand also celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, there’s no reason why the party shouldn’t continue in LVMS’s victory lane this weekend.
And not to be outdone, Mars brand Ethel M Chocolate, which has a factory and store located in nearby Henderson, Nevada, will also get into the act this weekend. Not only will Ethel M have its logo adorn the rear decklid of the M&M’S Toyota, it will also debut the Kyle Busch Chocolate Collection in honor of Busch’s return to his hometown.
The Kyle Busch Chocolate Collection is a limited, 16-piece chocolate assortment featuring Busch’s favorite Ethel M specialties. Wrapped in custom NASCAR-branded packaging, the collection is available for fans to purchase online at www.ethelm.com, and at Ethel M locations, including its factory store in Henderson, McCarran Airport Boutique, and at M&M’S World® on Las Vegas Boulevard.
So as Busch returns to Las Vegas this weekend, the only thing that will be sweeter than winning his first Sprint Cup race there would be winning a second so he and his sponsor can keep the Las Vegas celebrations going even longer.