For Kyle Busch and M&M’s Crispy, 2015 is the year of the comeback.
In January, Busch’s primary backer M&M’s listened to the fans and launched the highly anticipated return of M&M’s Crispy. Just one month later, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans are also looking forward to another highly anticipated return – the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, which kicks off with Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited exhibition race and culminates Feb. 22 with the 57th Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
To celebrate the return of M&M’s Crispy, Busch’s colorful No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will introduce a new green paint scheme celebrating the return of Busch’s favorite M&M’s candy. While 2015 is about the celebration of the return of M&M’s Crispy, there are also some exciting new elements for Busch and his teammates that have them looking forward to a return to success for the No. 18 M&M’s Crispy team.
The biggest of the new additions is the promotion of crew chief Adam Stevens from the JGR XFINITY Series shop to new crew chief for Busch’s and the M&M’s Crispy team’s championship efforts in 2015. While Busch and Stevens will work together for the first time in NASCAR’s top series in 2015, the driver-crew chief duo already knows its way to victory lane. In fact, Busch and Stevens have combined for 19 wins, 46 top-five finishes, and 47 top-10s in 52 XFINITY Series starts together over the last two seasons.
One other exciting addition to the team, approximately mid-May, is the expected arrival of Busch’s wife Samantha’s first child, a son, who is due around NASCAR’s annual stop at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the back-to-back Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 race weekends.
With every new season comes optimism, and this one is certainly no exception for Busch and his M&M’s Crispy team as the current Sprint Cup championship format has shown that it rewards what Busch is one of the best at – winning. Since 2008, only six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has won more races in NASCAR’s premiere series than Busch, with Johnson tallying 37 wins during that time while Busch and former JGR driver Tony Stewart are tied with 29 apiece.
The 2015 season warms up with Saturday night’s non-points-paying Sprint Unlimited, where Busch brought home a victory in 2012. It continues through next week’s Budweiser Duels qualifying races, during which Busch won in 2009 and 2013. And the official Sprint Cup season begins in earnest Feb. 22 with the Daytona 500. In addition to his three non-points race wins at Daytona, Busch captured his first and only Daytona points-paying Sprint Cup win in July 2008.
So as Busch and his No. 18 M&M’s Crispy Camry prepare to head south from JGR’s Huntersville, North Carolina headquarters this week, Busch hopes the return of M&M’s Crispy also yields a return to Daytona victory lane, but this time as the 36th name on the Harley J. Earl Trophy as 2015 Daytona 500 champion.