Without a doubt, the most exciting finish of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season came one year ago this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles® America Mix Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), battled it out with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson on a final lap to remember as Larson slid up in front of Busch attempting a “slide job” coming out of turn two, putting Busch into the wall and Larson into the lead. Despite some damage to his car, Busch caught Larson between turns three and four and made contact, spinning Larson sideways and going on to take the checkered flag.
The sequence also was a memorable on-air moment for former-driver-turned-NBC-
With a repeat of last year’s win on his mind and July 4 on the horizon, Busch will again sport a special Skittles scheme that will proudly show off the Red, White, and Blue for this Sunday’s Camping World 400 that is sure to be a hit with NASCAR’s patriotic fans. The Skittles America Mix is a must-have for summer gatherings, road trips and, of course, a great snack while watching a NASCAR Cup Series race either in-person or on television. Every bag contains red, white and blue Skittles with fruit flavors that include strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, wild berry and “yumberry” – the first white, fruit-flavored Skittles candy – and are available at retailers nationwide throughout the summer.
In addition to its Hackettstown, New Jersey headquarters near its home track of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Mars Wrigley Confectionary U.S. has offices in Chicago, as well, and Busch would like nothing more than to score another “home” win like last year for the Mars Wrigley associates located downtown, especially after his recent win at Pocono that gave him three wins in his last four outings at the Pennsylvania triangle.
Last year’s win at Chicagoland was the second of Busch’s career at the 1.5-mile oval, his first coming in 2008. In the latter race, a late caution set up a green-white-checkered finish in which the Las Vegas native lined up behind now seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. On the final restart, Busch made a bold and surprising move to the outside in turns one and two, passing Johnson and holding him off to bring home the win. In addition to his two wins in the Cup Series, Busch has four NASCAR Xfinity Series and five Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins there.
So as Busch heads back to Chicagoland this weekend, he hopes the Skittles America Mix Red, White, and Blue colors will propel him to a third career Chicagoland win. There would be no better place to kick off the July 4 celebration than in victory lane at the 1.5-mile oval in the backyard of one of the main hubs for his primary backers. And wouldn’t it be nice if it was just as exciting as last year’s finish?