While Kyle Busch has amassed a higher win total at three other tracks and has led more laps at 19, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is statistically his most consistent race track.
In 12 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, Busch has only finished outside the top-10 twice. He’s got five top-five’s, a pole and two wins to boot. His finishes average out to a ninth, only bested by his finishing averages at Kentucky Speedway and Richmond Raceway. He’s finished on the lead lap in 11 of those starts as well.
With a top-10 percentage of 83.3, it’s surprising that it took him 11 years to win for the first time at Indianapolis. Leading 19 laps on three different occasions, he shot past Joey Logano on the overtime restart (green-white-checkered prior to 2016) to score the victory.
Last season, he put on a showcase of dominance by sweeping both the XFINITY Series and Cup Series race from the pole. In the XFINITY race, he led all but one lap. The next day, he led 149 of 170 laps, joining Jimmie Johnson as the only back to back winners of the Brickyard 400.
If he wins this weekend, he’d join Michael Schumacher as the only driver to win three straight races at Indianapolis.
Despite his success, Busch couldn’t tell you why he’s so great at Indianapolis.
“I just think the last few years we just really have been able to capitalize on what I’ve been feeling in the race car and to be able to work on it and fix it,” Busch said. “I feel like that’s probably the biggest thing is just there’s times when you’re at race tracks and you’re working on your car, working on your car, working on your car and it just seems to be doing the same thing over again. You just can’t find the niche that will fix it and I think that Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and myself, we were able to find that here a couple years ago and we’ve been able to answer all of our questions, so that’s certainly been the biggest thing, so I think we’re now coming here for three years in a row, three different aero packages with the Cup car and so it’s certainly going to be interested what transpires this year. But one of the most difficult paces about the race here at Indy is just the ability to pass and getting runs on guys and being able to make that move whether it’s off the corner of [Turns] 1, 2 3 or 4. You’ve just got to kind of pick and choose how you can get to a guy and make that moves and not get too tight, you know? There’s a balance of being able to turn through the corners here – they’re really, really flat – and still being able to accelerate with the horsepower we have out of the turns and down these long straightaways.”