NASCAR Xfinity Series
Kyle Busch returns to action
at Ky. Speedway
He won the Sprint Cup ‘Quaker State 400’
in Sparta in July
(September 2015) – Kyle Busch doesn’t like to settle for anything less than the best. After winning the July 11 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, he will now give his all to the upcoming NASCAR Xfinity 300 race in September.
He beat out Joey Logano in July in a four-lap dual for the lead in the closing laps in the Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts. This race labeled the track’s fifth Sprint Cup Series race to date as the most action packed race and had the crowd on its feet.
Driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Busch led the final 20 laps after passing Logano. “What a blast,” Busch, 30, said as he climbed out of his car in Victory Lane. This race was part of three action-packed nights of racing at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.
This was Busch’s seventh race back in the No. 18 Toyota after missing 11 races because of a crash earlier this season. The victory was his second in three weeks since returning to racing. So far, he is having one unforgettable year.
In February 2015, Busch suffered a compound break of his right leg and a fracture of his left foot in a wreck in the closing laps at the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fla. He had previously undergone surgery in December 2014 to repair a problem in his left foot that was causing recurring inflammation.
His No. 54 Toyota veered off the track through the grass and hit head-on into an interior wall that had no SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier. SAFER barriers were not in use in 2001 when seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. died on the final lap of the Daytona 500.
Even when some losses are tough to swallow, Busch has always loved the competition aspect of racing. To him competition is “the best of the best, the best in the world in stock car auto racing. For me to be one of the top drivers is pretty cool and to go out there and try to win these big races and even compete for the championship is what it’s all about.”
“As soon as the wreck happened, as soon as I hit, I knew instantly that my right leg broke. I could feel it,” he said of the wreck. Knowing his right leg was broken, he tried to use his left leg to exit the car. When he put pressure on his left foot, he knew it was also injured.
Back in the driver’s seat again, Busch reinforces the reputation for which he has become known. “I’d race anything, anywhere, and I just like to race,” said the Las Vegas native. Busch now has his sights set on winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 26.
For Busch, Kentucky Speedway has historically been one of his best tracks. He has won five times in four different series and led a record 1,349 laps in 17 career starts on the Kentucky Speedway track.
“It’s pretty cool to come here to Kentucky, one of my best places and to score a win,” he said after winning the Quaker State 400. The July win at Kentucky sparked a three consecutive wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Busch. The run included New Hampshire and Indianapolis.
He became the first driver to sweep both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races at Indianapolis. Busch brought Toyota its first victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, breaking a string of 12 straight wins by Chevrolet.
After starting in the eighth spot, Busch recently finished second in the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International in New York and has won four races since breaking his leg. His Chase eligibility waiver required one win for him to earn one of the 16 berths. The win at Watkins Glen advanced Busch to the 30th slot in driver points, having compiled 361 points in 11 races
“For us to be in the top 30 right now, that obviously allows us to chance our mindset maybe a little bit here going forward,” Busch said after the Watkins Glen race.
Busch had a solid day at the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 16 at Michigan Internationals Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. He started out rough, having to pull out the backup No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after spinning through the grass on Saturday’s morning’s practice session. The grass destroyed the front end of the car.
By going to the backup, Busch gave up his sixth place starting spot and was forced to drop to the rear of the field for the start of the race. He methodically worked his way through the field of cars, squeezing inside the top 20 by lap 50.
He finished 11th, which moved him to 29th in the series standings. “It was a success, it wasn’t what we wanted,” he said after the race.
Busch needs to stay in the top 30 in the standings and be able to start the remaining three regular-season races to be eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
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