Among Kyle Busch’s 157 overall victories among NASCAR’s top three series – Sprint Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck – there aren’t many tracks that aren’t represented in his vast trophy collection.
Of the 23 venues where Sprint Cup events are hosted, Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S 75th Anniversary Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has won at least once at 22 of those tracks in at least one of NASCAR’s top three series. After crossing off Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last season with a Truck Series win, there’s just one track remaining, and that’s Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, site of Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup race.
The .526-mile paperclip-shaped short track in Southern Virginia hasn’t always been a track where Busch has felt comfortable, but that’s changed in recent years thanks to plenty of help from his JGR teammates, along with fast cars provided by the Huntersville, North Carolina operation.
Busch is still searching for his first 7-foot-tall clock that track president Clay Campbell’s late grandfather and track founder H. Clay Earles began awarding Martinsville race winners more than five decades ago.
Despite the lack of a Martinsville’s exclusive grandfather clock trophy in his vast collection, Busch has plenty of reasons for optimism this weekend as his M&M’S team keeps getting closer and closer to that elusive win with each return. Even though there is still a blank in the Martinsville win column, Busch’s resume at the track now includes nine top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in his 21 Sprint Cup starts there.
So as Busch heads to Martinsville this weekend, he hopes to not only cross another track off the win list, but also be able to bring home his first Martinsville grandfather clock after knocking on the door for several years at the Southern Virginia short track.