In his ninth season with Toyota flagship Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), Kyle Busch returns this weekend to the place where the winning began in 2008 with JGR, M&M’S and Toyota – Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota for JGR, headed to Atlanta for the fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of 2008 aiming to bring home his first win for the team’s two new partners – Mars Chocolate North America and Toyota.
After leading a race-high 173 laps, the Las Vegas native captured his first win for Mars’ SNICKERS brand and also the first win in NASCAR’s top series for Toyota, which was in its second year of Sprint Cup competition and its first year with JGR, as was Busch.
The win also marked the end of a 147-race drought for JGR’s No. 18 team, and it was Busch’s first of 30 Sprint Cup wins for JGR, so far. Busch has now totaled 133 overall wins among NASCAR’s top three series driving Toyota vehicles – 30 in Sprint Cup, 65 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and 38 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Add 21 overall wins prior to joining JGR at the beginning of 2008 and Busch is at 154 combined Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series wins and counting.
It was déjà vu all over again for Busch in 2013 at Atlanta and the M&M’S team as he led 36 laps en route to his 100th overall win in a Toyota and his 24th Sprint Cup win with JGR’s No. 18 team.
Busch and JGR have accomplished a great deal together as he and the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota team kicked off of their ninth season with last weekend’s Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Not only have Busch, JGR, M&M’S and Toyota won the aforementioned impressive amount of races together, they are also coming off their first Sprint Cup championship in 2015.
Busch looks forward to racing at Atlanta again. Sunday will be his first start there since 2014 as he missed the race last year due to injury. Busch and his entire No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry team hope to add to their winning ways at Atlanta by rolling up their collective sleeves as they try to rekindle the magic from 2008 and 2013 in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
So as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Atlanta this weekend, Busch and the M&M’S team will undoubtedly be feeling just a bit nostalgic during this season in which the brand celebrates its 75th anniversary, all the while recalling those 2008 and 2013 race wins at the 1.5-mile oval where the winning all began.