Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles® Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), announced to the world last Tuesday his return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action during the Sprint All-Star Race last Saturday evening. Once at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, he kicked off the weekend by posting the fastest time in Friday’s practice session. After three months away from Sprint Cup competition, Busch twice rallied from the rear of the field to bring home a solid sixth-place finish during the 110-lap non-points event, showing no negative effects from a broken right leg and fractured left foot suffered at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February.
And, as if last week wasn’t exciting enough with his long-awaited return, even more good news blessed Busch and wife Samantha Monday night with the birth of their first child. Brexton Locke Busch entered into the world on Monday at 9:45 p.m., weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 21 inches long.
What could Busch possibly do to follow up the past week? He’ll certainly try to put the icing on the cake as he aims for a victory in Sunday’s traditional Sprint Cup Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The 30-year old driver of the Skittles® Toyota is looking for his first win in NASCAR’s longest event. While wins have eluded him at Charlotte, Busch has quite the stellar record there, posting 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 22 Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval, making him feel closer than ever to hoisting his first trophy there.
The Coca-Cola 600 would be special because the event is at what Busch often says is his favorite racetrack. He has come close to winning a Sprint Cup event at Charlotte, but he’s yet to carry home a coveted Sprint Cup trophy from the track that is home to a majority of the NASCAR teams and is just around the corner from where Busch now lives in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.
Ever since his childhood in Las Vegas, some of Busch’s favorite race-watching memories came during Charlotte’s Coca-Cola 600 and All-Star Race during the month of May. He dreamed that one day he, too, could be the one hoisting the trophy at one of stock car racing’s most hallowed grounds.
In addition to solid Sprint Cup finishes, Busch has captured eight NASCAR Xfinity Series wins there – May 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010, October 2008 and 2009, and both May and October 2013. He also has six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins – 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.
This weekend’s race at Charlotte also marks the return of a popular red Skittles® paint scheme for the No. 18 Toyota. Including Charlotte, race fans will get to “Taste the Rainbow” in four Sprint Cup events with Busch at the controls. Busch, who counts Green Apple Skittles among his personal favorite, will also race the No. 18 Skittles Toyota next weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, in July at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and finally in August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.So, as Busch has been riding quite the winning streak of exciting life events over the last week, will he be able to add a win in NASCAR’s longest race on Sunday to top it all off? While it would be nice, regardless, Busch is still having the best week ever.