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 Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the NASCAR XFINITY Series 300 race event. This week on the 2.0-mile D-shaped oval, Busch is very familiar with victory lane. The champion driver will work to record his 12th overall NASCAR win at the California facility, targeting his seventh victory there in the XFINITY Series. This week will be the driver’s third of 10 total XFINITY Series races with partner NOS Energy Drink in 2017.
- Last race in the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Camry Busch tackled Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, when from a first-place pole-qualifying position he was poised for a strong run. The momentum continued with a stage one win as Busch led the field the first 48 laps of the race. In stage two the NOS Energy Drink Toyota battled loose and tight-handling conditions while staying in the top-five positions of the race. Stage three brought a ‘tap’ to the wall and a more intensive tight-handling Toyota the race team didn’t overcome. While Busch remained on-track after hitting the wall, and with several adjustments made to the car through final-race pit stops, the team brought home a seventh-place result. It was Busch’s second top-10 result of the XFINITY Series season.
- This week at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Busch will make his 331st 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 first officially recorded taste of XFINITY series victory in 2017 and their 10th Auto Club Speedway 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 California track where he has recorded three MENCS wins in 2014, 2013 and 2005 and two Camping World Truck Series wins in each of his lone entries in that series in 2009 and 2008.
- With Busch’s recent Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway pole-qualifying position he notched his 59th first-place series start. The accomplishment continues a 14-year streak of pole grabs by the champion stemming back to 2004.
- Joe Gibbs Racing at Auto Club Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series covers 52 races, nine wins (six with Busch, two with Joey Logano and one with Tony Stewart), 10 poles, 20 top-five finishes, 30 top-10 finishes and 1134 laps led.
- Crew Chief Scott Graves’ Auto Club Speedway statistics include three races, zero wins, one pole (Daniel Suarez, 2016), two top-five and two top-10 finishes with four laps led in the XFINITY series.
- With their recent Phoenix International Raceway race accident, the No. 18 JGR team moved into 11th place in NASCAR Owner’s Championship point standings, 89 points behind the series leading No. 22 of Penske Racing.
- XFINITY Series Loop Data Statistics in Fontana, CA at Auto Club Speedway over the last 10 races record Busch #1 in Driver Rating (6.1 Avg Fin), Highest # of Fastest Laps (403, 17.9%), Highest # of Laps Led (745, 33.1%) and Highest # of Laps in the Top 15 (2046, 90.8%).
- Busch has won six of the last twelve XFINITY Series events at Auto Club Speedway, without the opportunity to compete in 2015 due to his early season accident and subsequent rehabilitation.
Kyle Busch Auto Club Speedway Results:
|Series||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Poles||Led||AvSt||AvFn|
|18 races||3 (’14, ’13, ’05)||8||12||1 (’05)||604||11.1||10.9|
|17 races||6 (’13, ’11, both ’10, .09, ‘08)||11||14||3 (’13, ’10, ’08)||745||8.4||6.3|
|2 races||2 (’09, ’08)||2||2||1||146||10.5||1.0|
Kyle Busch NASCAR XFINITY Series Career Results:
|XFINITY Series||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Poles||Led||AvSt||AvFn|
From the Cockpit, Driver Kyle Busch:
What are your expectations going into this week’s California XFINITY series race?
“We usually do well at Auto Club although last year the tires bit us and we didn’t have the finish we looked for from a strong run. Scott (Graves) was also in a good position here last year with Daniel (Suarez) but ran out of luck with fuel strategy in that last lap. We just have to be sure we don’t beat ourselves. Fontana is a great track for me but it’s also aging now so we’ll work through practice to see how that affects our normal set up for this racetrack. Samantha, Brexton (Busch) and I have stayed out during this ‘NASCAR Goes West’ swing. We enjoy spending a few days in Los Angeles but now it’s time to get to work. We’ll see what Saturday brings, but I expect another strong run for the NOS Energy Drink Camry.”
From the Pit Box, Crew Chief Scott Graves:
How do you prepare for the Fontana 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 Fontana. He has been really good there in the past. Last year was a tough finish for all the Joe Gibbs Racing cars in California. Kyle dominated the race until the last lap when he lost a left-front tire. On our side with Daniel Suarez, we started from the pole and looked like we would get the win when Kyle had his problems, but then the No. 19 car ran out of gas on the backstretch. It was tough to leave there without a trophy for the company, knowing how good our cars were that day. Because of that, there is a lot of motivation across all the JGR XFINITY teams to go back to Auto Club Speedway and get the win.
To prepare we have to make sure we learn from what happened last year. Fontana usually has a lot of green flag runs and the surface is hard on tires. There will be a lot of lap time falloff and tire wear. We need to work on making the tires last and keep an eye on tire wear to make sure that isn’t an issue this year. Also, through the first two races this season we have seen the competition a lot closer. We know we’ve got to work on some different setup options to see what works best with the new aero package. The guys are motivate and are working hard to make sure we put our best effort forward at Fontana.”
No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team Members:
|Driver – Kyle Busch||Crew Chief – Scott Graves||Car Chief – Chris Myers|
|Race Engineer – Chris Whitenight||Springs/Engineer – Dustin Zacharyasz||Front Mechanic – Tyler Paxton|
|Rear Mechanic – John Egbert||Tire Specialist – John Lanham||Engine Tuner – Roger Purcell|
|Truck Driver – Steve Fiedler||Spotter – Tony Hirschman||Jackman – TJ Ford|
|Gas Man – Tom Lampe||Front Tire Changer – Josh Leslie||Front Tire Carrier – Brad Donaghy|
|Rear Tire Changer – Jake Seminara||Rear Tire Carrier – Kenny Barber|
Based in Corona, California, NOS is part of the Monster Energy Company, acquired from The Coca-Cola Company in 2015. Launched in 2005, NOS Energy Drink fuels performance by providing high performance energy and enhanced mental focus you need to stay ahead of the pack. Whether on the track, tuning a favorite car in the garage, or conquering your day, NOS delivers a kick. Rooted in auto-culture, NOS is a proud partner of Kyle Busch, Brian Deegan and Chris Forsberg. High Performance Energy. High Performance Athletes. For more information, visit www.drinknos.com and tag #NOSEnergyDrink #NOSRowdy.