Hoping To Break Through with Red, White and Blue
Kyle Busch has 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins to his credit at 16 different venues.
Ironically enough, the driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Red, White and Blue Toyota has yet to win at the racetrack he considers his absolute favorite, where he’ll make his career-high 17th start in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 – Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
The special Red, White and Blue M&M’S paint scheme Busch will sport for NASCAR’s traditional Memorial Day Weekend marathon event 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 for fans during the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Busch will also carry the patriotic scheme in late June at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in lead-up to the Fourth of July to be celebrated the following week.
When he takes the green flag Sunday evening in his M&M’s Red, White and Blue colors, Busch will have two more starts at the 1.5-mile oval than any other track. Next-most is his 15 Sprint Cup starts at seven different racetracks, including Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Experience seems to go a long way for Busch as he’s won at all but one of those seven racetracks (Martinsville) where he’s posted 15 career starts. The talented 27-year-old has combined for 13 of his 24 Sprint Cup wins at those seven tracks.
Ever since his childhood in Las Vegas, some of Busch’s favorite race-watching memories came during Charlotte’s traditional All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 during the month of May. He dreamed that one day he, too, could be the one hoisting the trophy at one of stock-car racing’s most hallowed grounds.
In his 16 previous Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte over the past eight-plus seasons, Busch has managed to enjoy plenty of success on the 1.5-mile oval nicknamed the “Beast of the Southeast.” He’s currently riding a streak of nine top-10 finishes during the last 11 points-paying races there, dating back to October 2006. In addition to solid Sprint Cup finishes, Busch has captured six NASCAR Nationwide Series wins, including four of the last eight (May 2004, 2005 and 2008, October 2008 and 2009, and May 2010) and four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins (2005, 2006, 2010, and 2011).
Of course, while those nine Sprint Cup top-10s and 10 combined Nationwide and Truck Series wins at Charlotte are certainly something to be proud of for Busch, there’s still that childhood dream to fulfill.
So this weekend, decked out in his Red, White and Blue M&M’s livery, Busch will attempt to finally break through at Charlotte and secure the long-awaited first win at his favorite track, and in one of NASCAR’s crown jewel events.