Following last year’s Brickyard 400 win at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch’s taste of victory included a few things that tasted good for different reasons – Skittles, and the famous Yard of Bricks at the start-finish line of the 2.5-mile oval.
But just one year after adding his name to the list of winners of one of NASCAR’s crown jewel events, Busch will hope to become only the second driver to win back-to-back Brickyard 400s at Indianapolis. The only other driver to do so, six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, accomplished the feat in 2008 and 2009, becoming the first and only driver to win two in a row at Indianapolis.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), is determined to join Johnson as a back-to-back winner at Indianapolis in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. In fact, there are also very few winners of multiple Brickyard 400s in the race’s 22-year history. Just four drivers reside on that list, and Busch, who loves being a part of history, would love to add his name. He would join multiple Brickyard 400 winners Jeff Gordon, who scored his wins in 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2014); Johnson the 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012 winner; Tony Stewart, who won in 2005 and 2007, and Dale Jarrett, who won in 1996 and 1999.
While Busch has an impressive nine top-10 finishes in 11 starts at Indianapolis for an average finish of 9.7 – second among active drivers – he has always been a front-runner there. But until he led the final 19 laps in last year’s race, Busch had led just 42 laps there prior to 2015. Busch was finally able to get over the hump and into victory lane by outlasting Kevin Harvick in the closing laps of last year’s event to secure his first Brickyard 400 win. In addition to his strong Sprint Cup record at Indianapolis, he also has two wins and three top-five finishes in the four Xfinity Series races he’s contested at Indianapolis thus far.
Sunday’s race at Indianapolis also marks the return of the popular, red Skittles paint scheme for the No. 18 Toyota. Along with Busch’s hopes of kissing the famed Yard of Bricks yet again Sunday afternoon – a tradition for the winning driver and his team at the century-old speedway – fans will also be able to “Taste the Rainbow” one more time this season as the Skittles car will be on track in September at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Busch, who counts Green Apple Skittles among his personal favorite, already competed in the red Skittles scheme at Phoenix International Raceway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this past spring.
So it goes without saying, now that Busch got a “Taste of the Bricks” one year ago, he would like nothing more than to repeat his win and again enjoy the taste of Skittles along the famous “Yard of Bricks” once again.