Picking Up Where We Left Off
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (June 1, 2022) – The last time Kyle Busch competed at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, he found himself in victory lane at the end of the night.
While the victory was 13 years ago in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Busch, driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), hopes to pick up where he left off back in 2009 as the NASCAR Cup Series will make it’s much anticipated debut just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis during Sunday’s inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300.
As Busch heads to St. Louis this weekend for the first race there in NASCAR’s top series, he hopes to keep up his recent form after a solid runner-up finish in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600. The Las Vegas native has brought home four top-five finishes and seven top-10s in his last eight points-paying Cup Series starts and has back-to-back top five finishes at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and Charlotte.
Busch’s win in April at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway all but locked him into this year’s playoffs. But, as usual, he’s always looking for more. The two-time Cup Series champion currently sits third in the standings, 37 points behind leader Chase Elliott, and Busch hopes to keep gaining on the lead and accumulate as many playoff points as possible with 12 races left in the regular season.
As far as Busch’s record at St. Louis goes, he has made three Xfinity Series starts there with two top-five finishes, which includes the win from 2009. Busch will hope to glean information from his Kyle Busch Motorsports team, as the Camping World Truck Series in which it competes fulltime has raced at the 1.25-mile World Wide Technology Raceway oval for the past eight years.
So as the series heads to St. Louis for the inaugural Cup Series race at St. Louis, Busch hopes to pick up where he left off and get his SNICKERS Toyota Camry TRD back to victory lane there, a place he has been before.
KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. SNICKERS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
What do you think about the Cup Series’ first race at Gateway?
“Gateway is very tight, very narrow. It can be slick, too, from what I understand talking with my KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) Truck Series guys. The long back straightaway getting into turns three and four, which is a huge, wide, sweeping turn, and a completely different way of driving both of those corners. Hoping we can have a good practice on Friday afternoon and get our SNICKERS Camry where it needs to be in the race to compete for the win.”
Do you know what you will need at Gateway with your prior experience there?
“I would say that just being able to run there before and knowing the racetrack itself would give you a little more than somebody who has never been there before. But honestly, having a normal practice weekend, everything will kind of shake out pretty evenly at the end of the day. I’m looking forward to getting back there. It’s been a long time.”
What do you think of the changes in the racing schedule for the Cup Series over the last couple of years?
“I think just being able to have some diversity in the schedule, being able to go to different places and have different tracks is a good thing. Maybe getting some new fans out to the track, or turning on the TV with some of the new places and new markets, is definitely a positive for our sport.”
With Lennix’s recent birth, how has it been going at home, getting used to your new addition to the family?
“It’s been great. It’s been really exciting and, having a chance to welcome a newborn into the world, it’s been fun. Obviously, she’s a baby, so certain things are expected – crying, getting up in the middle of the night for some feedings, nothing different than what I recall from the time that Brexton was that small. Just taking care of her – thankfully, Mom is helping out a lot, especially on race nights, taking care of the duties. I get to help with that during the week, so it’s all good. Brexton is being an awesome big brother. He’s been a part of this journey since the very beginning – wanting a baby sister, praying for a baby sister. Now that she’s here, that seems to be complete and all is healthy, so all is good.”
● Event: Enjoy Illinois 300 (Round 15 of 36)
● Time/Date: 3:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 5
● Location: World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis
● Layout: 1.25-mile oval
● Laps/Miles: 240 laps/300 miles
● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 45 laps / Stage 2: 95 laps /Final Stage: 100 laps
● TV/Radio: FS1 / MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Meet the No. 18 SNICKERS / Joe Gibbs Racing Team
Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kyle Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas
Crew Chief: Ben Beshore
Hometown: York, Pennsylvania
Car Chief: Nate Bellows
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont
Spotter: Tony Hirschman
Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania
Race Engineer: Seth Chavka
Hometown: Soldotna, Alaska
Race Engineer: Jaik Halpainy
Hometown: Blockville, New York
Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Matt Tyrrell
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Front Tire Changer: Thomas Hatcher
Hometown: Middleburg, Florida
Jackman: Kellen Mills
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
Tire Carrier: CJ Bailey
Hometown: Outer Banks, North Carolina
Rear Tire Changer: Lee Cunningham
Hometown: Leaf River, Illinois
Road Crew Members:
Engine Tuner: Dan Bajek
Hometown: Camden, New York
Truck Driver: Chris Miko
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Truck Driver: Eloy Trevino
Hometown: Adrian, Michigan
Mechanic/Tire Specialist: Justin Peiffer
Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Mechanic: Scott Eldridge
Hometown: Warsaw, Indiana
Mechanic: Tony Hamm
Hometown: Walla, Walla, Washington
Notes of Interest:
● All in the Stats: Busch has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at World Wide Technology Raceway, with the first coming back in 2004 when he raced in the series fulltime for Hendrick Motorsports. Busch has finished in the top-10 in all three Xfinity Series starts and brought home the victory for JGR in the 2009 race after leading 90 laps.
● 223 and Counting: Busch will be aiming to add to his record 223 overall wins among NASCAR’s top three series this weekend at St. Louis. In addition to his 60 Cup Series wins and 102 in the Xfinity Series, Busch has 61 wins in the Camping World Truck Series.