Busch brought home what he called the biggest win of his career Sunday in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The win was his third in a row and his fourth win in his last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Those stats would be amazing without all that he has overcome so far in 2015, which makes the feat even more remarkable.
After suffering a broken right leg and left foot in February, Busch missed the first 11 races of the season before finally returning to the cockpit in May at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. What he’s done since his return defies logic. In just nine Sprint Cup races since his return, Busch has won four of them. In the ultra-competitive Sprint Cup Series, a hot streak of this nature is very rare, not mention the fact he’s returning from serious injury. In fact, there are only 20 drivers in the history of NASCAR who have won three or more consecutive races. Busch joins Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon as the only active drivers to do so.
Along with Busch, a partner he is closely aligned with has also made a comeback in 2015. After a 10-year hiatus, the M&M’S Crispy brand made a comeback of its own in 2015. The company brought back the product by popular demand with similar success. So as impeccable timing goes, just 50 miles separate the headquarters of Mars Chocolate North America and the site of the next Sprint Cup race – Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Busch will no doubt find plenty of encouragement during the prerace visit to Mars Chocolate North America. There, the M&M’S Crispy driver and the entire No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team will have the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Mars associates, and many of those same associates will travel just down the road to Pocono Sunday to cheer for Busch.
Riding a tidal wave of momentum, Busch will take aim at one of the few remaining tracks in Pocono at which he has yet to win in the Sprint Cup Series. After crossing Indianapolis off the list this past Sunday, the Las Vegas native now has only five tracks where he has failed to reach victory lane in the Sprint Cup Series. Those are: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Homestead-Miami Speedway and this weekend’s venue in Pocono.
With four wins since his return from injury this season, Busch and the M&M’S Crispy team keep making huge gains in their march to make the top-30 in Sprint Cup driver standings, which would ensure them a berth in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs. With six races before the 16-driver Chase field is locked in, Busch sits just 23 points behind 30th-place Justin Allgaier. Busch has shaved an astounding 150 points off the deficit during the past five races, the only non-win during that span being a 17th-place result at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. With just a 23-point gap, it’s possible that a strong run Sunday at Pocono could place Busch in the top-30 in the standings.
So, as the series heads back to the Pocono Mountains, Busch, crew chief Adam Stevens and the entire M&M’S Crispy team will look to ride the huge wave of momentum back to victory lane for the fourth race in a row and for the first time at the “Tricky Triangle.”