As a winner of 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races thus far in his young career, Kyle Busch certainly knows how to throw a party, particularly in victory lane.
One track where he hasn’t celebrated as a Sprint Cup winner with confetti, champagne and, of course, milk chocolate M&M’s is Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, the site of Sunday’s appropriately named Party in the Poconos 400. This weekend, Busch looks to make the Party in the Poconos “Better with M,” calling upon his sponsor M&M’s latest integrated marketing campaign, which showcases how M&M’S irresistible chocolate makes moments more fun and delicious.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has won at 17 of the 23 tracks at which the Sprint Cup Series competes. The only six tracks Busch has failed to reach victory lane in the Sprint Cup Series are: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and, of course, Pocono.
Busch makes it no secret that Pocono has given him fits over the years as he has five top-10 finishes in 16 previous starts there, along with eight finishes of 22nd or worse. But, three of his top-five finishes have come during his last six outings at the 2.5-mile triangle, and some of his best finishes have come since he joined JGR at the start of the 2008 season.
The Las Vegas native is coming off a solid fourth-place effort last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, a finish that helped him jump up two spots to ninth in the Sprint Cup standings. Pocono often signifies the start of the summer stretch for teams solidifying their spot in the standings as the cutoff for the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship comes just 13 races from now.
While Busch is currently in position for a Chase berth, he knows that a solid summer stretch, along with adding to his two wins already this season, will be exactly what it takes to return to NASCAR’s all-important postseason.
So, as the series heads back to the Pocono Mountains for Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400, Busch, crew chief Dave Rogers and the entire M&M’s team will hope they can find a new place to party – victory lane at Pocono, which is “Better with M,” as in the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota.