When it comes time to look at the statistics at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, there’s a clear pair of drivers that stand out over the nine total NASCAR Cup Series races run at the 1.5-mile oval – two-time and defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, and 2012 champion Brad Keselowski. In fact, the two former champions have combined to bring home five of the nine wins at Kentucky since NASCAR’s top series began competing there in 2011.
Busch is always optimistic about his chances to win at one of his best tracks statistically, and he’ll look to score his third Kentucky win during Sunday afternoon’s Kentucky 400 and tie Keselowski for the most wins in the Bluegrass State. While Busch’s overall numbers there are impressive, a few statistics stand out more than others. To go with a series-best average finish of 4.7, he has an astonishing average mid-race position of just 2.6. With two victories in the nine races run there, Busch has only finished outside the top-10 once – 12th in 2012, when he battled mechanical issues. Keselowski has three finishes of 20th or worse at Kentucky with an average finish of 12.3.
The Las Vegas native and driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Fudge Brownie Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has notched multiple victories at Kentucky in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions – Cup, Xfinity, and Truck. Add his 2003 ARCA series win at Kentucky and Busch has been victorious in four racing divisions and has made quite a Kentucky home of his own in the Bluegrass State’s second-most-famous victory lane.
The heavily worn racing surface and quirky Kentucky layout Busch navigated to win both Cup Series races there – including the inaugural event back in 2011 – is now gone after being repaved four seasons ago to go with a slight reconfiguration of turns one and two. Busch came painfully close to his third Kentucky win one year ago when he battled door-to-door with his brother Kurt, who ultimately inched past Busch in one of the most memorable finishes of 2019.
Busch’s winning history at Kentucky started way back at the ripe age of 18, when he dominated the 2003 ARCA race while competing for Hendrick Motorsports. He led a race-high 91 laps en route to the victory.
He returned the following year and found victory lane again, this time in his Xfinity Series debut. In all, Busch has three wins, nine top-fives and has led 877 laps in 11 Xfinity Series starts at Kentucky. He also won the 2011 and 2014 Truck Series races to give him six top-10 finishes and 310 laps led in seven starts there in that division.
So as the Cup Series makes a swing through the Bluegrass State Sunday afternoon, Busch’s fans are hoping he can bring home his M&M’S Fudge Brownie Toyota to his third career Kentucky victory and prove yet again that he is the best in the Bluegrass State.