As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for the 2-mile oval’s first-ever doubleheader weekend, Kyle Busch is looking for a little bit of the Luck of the Irish.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Fudge Brownie Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is looking to bounce back from some terrible luck last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where a cut tire just 15 laps into the race resulted in contact with the outside wall to end his day prematurely.
The good news is that Busch will have not one, but two chances to turn his luck around this weekend. The series heads to the lightning-fast track situated in Michigan’s “Irish Hills” approximately 80 miles southwest of Detroit for Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 and Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400.
While the area near the track is known as the Irish Hills, it’s not because of any Irish heritage. During the 19th century, that area of Michigan, located near U.S. 12 just about halfway between Detroit and Chicago, was a well-known stopping point during the five-day stagecoach trip between the two large Midwest cities. At the turn of the 20th century, the Irish Hills turned into an enjoyable tourist destination with its plush, green landscape and more than 30 lakes for vacationers and residents to enjoy in peace and quiet.
Busch scored his first Michigan Cup Series win in August 2011. Then the track was repaved prior to the 2012 season and, while he scored a solid fourth-place finish on the new surface in June 2013, he has not had the results to match his high standards since. However, his 2018 and 2019 stops on the Michigan circuit netted three top-five finishes and no finish worse than sixth, which has gotten Busch closer to what he looks for week in and week out at any track.
So, as Busch and the M&M’S Fudge Brownie team head to the Upper Midwest this weekend, they hope to find the Luck of the Irish (Hills) with two chances to make it to victory lane for the first time this season and the second time in his career in the Irish Hills of Michigan.