After a hot start to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Busch never slowed down as the season entered the summer months.
The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) turned up the heat as NASCAR’s top series headed into late summer with the playoffs within sight. And as the NASCAR Cup Series makes its way to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400, the summer road trip is nearing its end with one final summer visit to Michigan and fall on the horizon.
With Interstate Batteries returning to the No. 18 car this weekend, Busch is encouraging fans to stop by a local Interstate dealer to get their vehicle batteries checked before taking off on their late-summer vacation. Hot weather has a far greater effect on batteries than the cold, so this weekend’s race at a popular summer tourist destination like the Great Lakes state of Michigan is the perfect setting to remind fans to have their batteries checked.
As far as this year’s NASCAR summer stretch, in the last nine races on the schedule starting with the June event at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and through last weekend’s race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Busch scored two wins, along with an impressive eight top-five finishes in those nine races.
In the Irish Hills of Michigan this weekend, Busch will look to keep running up front, starting with an improvement over the solid fourth-place finish he earned at Michigan in June. Busch looks to use that strong run as momentum this weekend at a facility he had struggled with since the track was repaved heading prior to the 2012 season. The Las Vegas native’s top-five finish at Michigan in June was his second on the new surface, but he’s also suffered five finishes of 30th or worse since the repave.
Busch had some success in the last race on the old surface at Michigan on Aug. 21, 2011, and with just four top-10 finishes in 13 previous starts at Michigan, he found himself outdueling now seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson for the win in a late-race shootout at the 2-mile oval for his first and only Cup Series win in the Automobile State.
So, as Busch and the Interstate Batteries team head back to the Midwest this weekend with an “Outrageously Dependable” Interstate Battery under the hood, the confidence built from a strong June weekend there and a summer spent running up front will do them well this weekend. But he knows chances are he’ll need to outduel several others in order to capture his second career Cup Series victory in the Irish Hills of Michigan.