With 12 combined wins between the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch has spent plenty of time in victory lane at the 1.5-mile oval in the heart of NASCAR country.
But the driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) would like nothing more than to highlight his resume with his first Charlotte Sprint Cup win during Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at the racetrack Busch calls his favorite on the circuit.
Despite falling just short of earning his first Charlotte Sprint Cup victory twice in the last three seasons, Busch has managed to enjoy plenty of success on the 1.5-mile oval known as the “Beast of the Southeast” during his 19 previous Sprint Cup starts there.
He’s riding a streak of 11 top-10 finishes in the last 13 points-paying races there dating back to October 2006. In addition to solid Sprint Cup finishes, Busch has captured seven NASCAR Nationwide Series wins(May 2004, 2005 and 2008, October 2008 and 2009, May 2010, and May 2013) and five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, and 2013).
Coming off a tough outing Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City – statistically one of his worse racetracks – the Las Vegas native heads to one of his strongest tracks in hopes of regaining some ground in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship battle, where he sits fifth in the standings, 35 points behind points-leader and JGR teammate Matt Kenseth.
Busch finally appeared headed for his breakthrough Sprint Cup win at Charlotte in the October 2010 and 2011 races there. In 2010, he led a race-high 217 laps but had to settle for a second-place finish behind Jamie McMurray. Then, the following year, he looked to be the class of the field once more but, after leading a race-high 111 laps, Busch was forced to settle for another second-place finish, this time behind Kenseth. He followed that up with a solid fifth-place finish in this race one year ago.
So, with a strong record at Charlotte over his nine plus seasons on the Sprint Cup circuit, Busch and his M&M’s team are looking to add a long-awaited win in the NASCAR mecca of Charlotte to his growing resume and are determined to keep fighting in a 2013 championship battle that still has a long way to go.