With Memorial Day weekend in the rearview mirror, the summer stretch of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is officially upon us as the series heads to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for Sunday’s Pocono 400.
Kyle Busch and the No. 18 M&M’S Red, White, and Blue Toyota Camry team for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has already started to heat up for the summer, as Busch is coming off his first career win in one of NASCAR’s crown jewels – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. With the victory Sunday night, Busch became the first driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win at every track where he has made at least one start, which is 23 tracks in all.
During his dominating win at Charlotte, Busch led 377 of 400 laps to put him over the 15,000 career laps-led mark in NASCAR’s top series, becoming just the 10th driver in Cup Series history to do so.
In his most recent start at Pocono last July, Busch crossed the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” off his list of tracks where he had yet to win by capturing his first career win there. That left Charlotte as the lone track where he’d made at least one start but had yet to win until this past Sunday night. Busch will bring the M&M’S Red, White and Blue paint scheme he drove to victory lane at Charlotte back to Pocono this weekend. The patriotic scheme celebrates M&M’S Red, White and Blue Mix, which is available at retailers nationwide and is the perfect treat to celebrate summer.
While Pocono proved to be difficult for Busch to master for the first six years of his Cup Series career, he seemed to have turned a corner there starting in June 2011, when he started from the pole – his first at Pocono – and was beaten across the finish line only by teammate Denny Hamlin, who has four wins to his credit at the track. Starting with that 2011 season, Busch went on to score seven top-10 finishes at Pocono after driving to just three top-10s in his first 12 starts there.
As for 2018, Busch and Kevin Harvick have shown they’ve been the drivers to beat during the first 13 races of the season, combining to win nine of those races. Busch and the M&M’S team have brought home an impressive four of those wins among his eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s so far, adding three poles to the mix during his very hot start to the season.
So, as the series heads back to the Pocono Mountains for Sunday’s 400-miler, Busch and the entire M&M’S Red, White, and Blue team hope to start the summer stretch of races on the right foot. They’ll look to add to their impressive list of accomplishments thus far in 2018 as they look to keep their celebrations going through summer and beyond.