During the 19thcentury, the Irish Hills area of Michigan – located near U.S. 12 just about halfway between Detroit and Chicago – was a well-known stopping point during the five-day stagecoach trip between the two large Midwest cities.
At the turn of the century, the Irish Hills turned into an enjoyable tourist destination with its plush, green landscape and more than 30 lakes for vacationers and residents to enjoy in peace and quiet.
For the last several decades, the Irish Hills come to life two weekends per year and become anything but peaceful and quiet when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for the state’s largest sporting events.
Kyle Busch, driver of the driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), hopes his colorful green-and-white-striped paint scheme brings a little bit of good fortune his way during his stopover in the Irish Hills for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
Busch won the Pure Michigan 400 in August 2011 for his first Sprint Cup triumph at the 2-mile oval. However, the track was repaved prior to the 2012 season and, while he scored a solid fourth-place finish on the surface in June 2013, he has had three finishes of 30th or worse in the other four races contested on the fresh pavement. This weekend, Busch looks to overcome that recent string of bad luck at Michigan and turn his fortunes around on the blazing fast oval.
One day prior to Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, Busch will achieve a milestone 500th start in a Toyota racing vehicle when he takes the green flag for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the track. In his 499 career starts driving Toyota equipment among NASCAR’s top three series, Busch has scored 114 wins.
So, as Busch and the Interstate Batteries team head to the Midwest this weekend, they’ll hope to luck of the Irish is on their side and that the green-and-white-striped Camry can score a second Sprint Cup victory of the season Sunday afternoon in the Irish Hills of Michigan.