Kyle Busch, Dave Rogers and the entire No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry team are on a mission.
That mission is simple – bring home the 27-pound hunk of corrugated metal known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy when the 36-race schedule concludes in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
They’ll be supported by the efforts of Joe Gibbs Racing’s founding sponsor, whose Mission 18 social media campaign can be followed via Facebook (www.facebook/interstatebatteries), Twitter (@InterstateBatts) and Instagram using the #Mission18 hashtag.
While his eyes are set firmly on the big prize, the next stop for Busch is Sunday’s Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Busch’s Sprint Cup record at Fontana is impressive. Since scoring his maiden victory there in September 2005, he has rattled off 10 top-10 finishes in 15 races at the track. In addition to his one Sprint Cup win at Fontana, Busch also has five Nationwide Series wins (October 2008, February 2009 and 2010, October 2010, and March 2011) at the 2-mile oval.
A rough start to the season saw Busch and team finish 34th at season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and 23rd the next week at Phoenix International Raceway, and they quickly found themselves 31st in the Sprint Cup standings after the second race of the season.
However, Busch and the No. 18 team have been cool under pressure the last two weekends as they recorded a fourth two weeks ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a runner-up finish last weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The finishes vaulted them 21 spots in the standing over the last two weeks as they head to race number five this weekend in Fontana 10th in points.
As Busch and his fellow Sprint Cup competitors make their return to Fontana this weekend, he and the No. 18 team look to continue their climb up the series standings and would love nothing more than to accomplish another important mission – their first victory of 2013.