INDIANAPOLIS — Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch wrote his name alongside NASCAR’s greatest following his dominating win in the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Busch, a 31-year-old native of Las Vegas, became just the fifth driver in Sprint Cup Series history to win multiple Brickyard 400s — joining an elusive list of drivers including Dale Jarrett (1996 & 1999), Tony Stewart (2005 & 2007), four-time winner Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2008-2009 & 2012), and five-time Brickyard champion Jeff Gordon (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, & 2014).
Busch also joined Johnson as the second driver in series history to capture back-to-back wins in the crown jewel event at Indianapolis.
“It means a lot (to capture back-to-back wins here),” Busch said. “I just knew that we’d have a shot coming to Indy, since these guys do such a great job. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) sets up an awesome race car.”
“The thing was awesome to drive. It was on rails. This Skittles Camry was phenomenal. I can’t thank everyone from Toyota enough. To collect four wins so far so far this year, that just means we’re hungry for more.”
Leading 149 laps in the 400-mile event, Busch’s triumph was the most dominating performance in the event’s 23-year history. Before Sunday, Gordon held the record for most laps led, pacing 124 circuits en route to his 2004 Brickyard 400 win.
“I guess I didn’t expect (to be this dominant),” Busch expressed. “I hoped it would be like that and be that good. This Skittles Camry was awesome, This Toyota was awesome today, it was just so fast and able to get out front and stay out front.”
“Not even some of my teammates could challenge me. This thing was hooked up and on rails. It’s fun to come out here and have such a dominant piece at Indy.”
Adding to the prestigious win, Busch also swept the weekend at Indianapolis for the second straight season — winning both the NASCAR XFINITY Series race and then following it up with the Sprint Cup victory.
This season, he also won the Coors Light Pole Award for both races, becoming the first driver in NASCAR history to win both the XFINITY and Cup races in the same weekend after also winning both poles.
“It’s so cool because it hasn’t been done before,” Busch explained. “I’ve tried and been successful at being able to do a lot of things that others haven’t been able to do before. I guess I give myself more chances than others because I run more of those races”
“It helps you and when it helps you win on Sunday, that’s what makes everything so worthwhile on those Saturday races. I can’t say enough about everyone on that NOS Energy Drink Camry – the guys on Saturday do a good job in helping prepare me and being able to do this stuff on Sunday.”
With his win on Sunday, Busch also continues to add to his legacy in NASCAR across all divisions.
His Cup victory was the 38th of his career, tying him with teammate Matt Kenseth for 19th on the all-time list, and he now has a series-leading 83 XFINITY wins after his Saturday triumph.
Overall, he now has 166 wins across all three national series (including 45 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins), second behind Richard Petty’s 200 (all in Cup).
The most striking fact? He’s ONLY 31 years old.
Rowdy’s win in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 wasn’t solely his second win in one of NASCAR’s majors.
It was also a reminder that he’s still getting better and better … and that the threshold for how high he may be able to climb before it’s all said and done may yet be as high as the sky itself.
The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Race Chaser Online, Speed77 Radio, the Performance Motorsports Network, their sponsors or other contributors.
About the Writer
Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and was also formerly the public relations director for NASCAR Next member Austin Hill. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Maryland, completing his sophomore year. He is just 15 years old.
Email Marshall at: [email protected]
Follow on Twitter: @MarshallGabell
Email Race Chaser Online: [email protected]
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews