NOS Energy Drink New Hampshire Motor Speedway Preview
No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota News and Notes:
· Kyle Busch returns to the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) NASCAR XFINITY Series team and the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota this week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Overton’s 200-race event. This week on the 1.058-mile short-track oval, Busch is very familiar with victory lane as he is the defending race winner, from a 2016 pole-start at this race. The champion driver will work to record his 11th overall NASCAR win at the New Hampshire NASCAR facility, targeting his sixth victory there in the XFINITY Series. This week records the driver’s sixth of 10 scheduled XFINITY Series races with partner NOS Energy Drink in 2017.
· Last race in the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Camry Busch tackled Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and recorded the first-place pole starting position earned at 181.935 mph captured in 29.681 seconds. The lead starting spot was Busch’s series-leading 61st in 333 career XFINITY series starts. Busch battled both loose and tight-handling conditions with his Toyota Camry mid-race, only to see improvement after pit stop adjustments gave the series veteran the car balance needed later in the race, to maintain the lead, and take home the checkered flag. The win was Busch’s 88th victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, his seventh at Kentucky Speedway in all three of NASCAR’s top-racing series.
· This week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch will make his 334th XFINITY Series start piloting the orange and blue NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry and works to offer the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 team their third taste of (second officially recorded) XFINITY series victory in 2017 and eighth NHMS win in the series.
· In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Busch is no stranger to victory lane at the New England racetrack where he has recorded two MENCS wins in 2015 and 2006, and three Camping World Truck Series wins in 2009, 2010 and 2011 with the latter two wins from the pole start.
· With Busch’s recent Kentucky Speedway pole-qualifying position he notched his 61st first-place series start. The accomplishment continues a 14-year streak of pole grabs by the champion stemming back to 2004. Busch captured this same event pole one year earlier at NHMS with a first-place start that resulted in a 2016 victory.
· Joe Gibbs Racing at NHMS in the NASCAR XFINITY Series covers 39 races, seven wins (five with Busch, one with Denny Hamlin and one with Tony Stewart), four poles, 22 top-five finishes, 28 top-10 finishes and 1142 laps led.
· Crew Chief Eric Phillips’ statistics at NHMS include two races (Parker Kligerman, ’13 and Daniel Suarez, ’15), zero wins, zero poles, one top-five finish, one top-10 finish with an average start of 6.5 in the XFINITY series.
· With their recent Kentucky Speedway victory, the No. 18 JGR team moved into seventh place in NASCAR Owner’s Championship point standings, 190 points behind the series leading No. 22 of Penske Racing.
· XFINITY Series Loop Data Statistics in NHMS over the last 10 races record Busch #1 in Driver Rating (5.8 Avg Fin), Highest # of Fastest Laps (372, 18.4%), Highest # of Laps Led (663, 32.8%) and Highest # of Laps in the Top 15 (1776, 88%).
· Recorded at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2009 Busch is the youngest series winner at 24 years, 1 month and 22 days. He holds the race record that year with a speed of 111.925 mph and in 2013 cemented the current qualifying record of 131.916 mph. He is the defending series race winner at NHMS of 2016 and previously in 2013. Busch holds five total XFINITY Series victories at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
· The Overton’s 200 XFINITY Series race event will be broadcast on NBCSN Saturday, July 15 at 4:00pm ET.
From the Cockpit, Driver Kyle Busch:
What are your expectations going into this week’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway XFINITY series race?
“Loudon is a good track for me, I enjoy it and we’ve had good success there. Will be good to go there with Eric (Phillips, crew chief) and this 18 team. We have a little momentum coming off the Kentucky run but need to keep that going. This series is very competitive and we have to keep working at our game to keep at the front. We’ll see what Saturday brings, but I expect another strong run for the NOS Energy Drink Camry.”
From the Pit Box, Crew Chief Eric Phillips:
How will you prepare for the Loudon XFINITY Series race with Kyle Busch, a track where you are still searching for that win?
“I’m really looking forward to working with Kyle (Busch) at Loudon especially coming off last week’s win. I learned a lot the last time I was here with Daniel (Suarez). We’ll get after it in practice and see what we can do.”