Defending Race Winner Aims for 90th Career Series Win
Team Crew Chief Eric Phillips Targets What Could Be ‘Most Special Win’ of NASCAR Career
No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota News and Notes:
- Defending Race Winner: Kyle Busch returns to the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) NASCAR XFINITY Series team and the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota this week at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway as defending race winners. Last year at this venue, Busch commanded the 2.5-mile “Brickyard” by leading 62 of 63 race laps and taking home the series victory from the pole-qualifying position. With six races completed so far in 2017, Busch has recorded three wins, five top-five finishes and five first-place pole starts.
- 2016 Indianapolis race in the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Camry: Last year Busch entered week eighteen of the 2016 season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon for the Lilly Diabetes 250 race event. The Joe Gibbs Racing veteran and the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota team started from row one, a first-place POLE qualifying run, breaking Busch’s own speed record with 181.939 mph. The JGR entry was strong early, only dropping to second place one time coming off a pit-stop sequence. With good pit stops and solid tire strategy from former JGR crew chief Chris Gayle, the victory was Busch’s 83rd series win in 322 NASCAR XFINITY starts and seventh win of 2016. At the time, Busch was the only driver to win three consecutive races, two times, in the same XFINITY series season. It was pole-win number eight and race-win number nine overall for Gayle and the team members of the No. 18 Camry with Joe Gibbs Racing that year.
- NOS Rowdy Colors for Brickyard Start: This week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Busch will make his third 2017 XFINITY Series start piloting custom drink colors in the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry featuring the NOS Rowdy Energy Drink flavor the veteran driver created with longtime marketing partner NOS Energy Drink. Busch looks to achieve victory Saturday for the Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Series program, what would be their fourth season win, third official victory on the books after a March race win at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway was encumbered from a penalty. The XFINITY Series track start will be the driver’s seventh of 10 scheduled XFINITY Series races with partner NOS Energy Drink in the No. 18 Toyota across the 2017 season.
- Busch at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: In addition to the 2016 XFINITY Series victory, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) veteran is no stranger to victory lane at the famous Indiana track. He lays claim to two MENCS wins there in 2016 (from the pole) and 2015, and another two XFINITY Series wins there in 2015 and 2013 (both from pole). XFINITY Series Loop Data Statistics at Indianapolis over the last 10 races record Busch #1 in Driver Rating (5.4 avg. finish), Highest # of Fastest Laps (138, 29.8%), Highest # of Laps Led (268, 57.9%), Fastest Speed by Segment and Fastest Green Flag Speed (169.466 mph). Busch is the Youngest Pole Winner from 2013 at 28 years, two months and 25 days and the Oldest Race Winner from 2016 at 31 years, two months and 21 days. Busch holds the qualifying record last recorded in 2016 at 181.939 mph.
- Joe Gibbs Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: In 16 XFINITY Series races JGR has recorded three wins (all with Busch), eight top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes, four poles and 235 laps led at the ‘Brickyard’ track.
- Crew Chief Eric Phillips’ Brickyard statistics: Phillips has competed at Indianapolis in the crew chief role in NASCAR’s XFINITY Series across two races with JGR driver Daniel Suarez and with former driver Parker Kligerman, earning with Suarez one top-five finish, one top-10 finish and three laps led.
- Race Info: The Lilly Diabetes 250, NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be broadcast, Saturday, July 22 at 3:30pm EST live on NBCSN, covering 100 laps, 250 miles. Stages will complete at 25 laps, 50 laps and 100 laps.
Kyle Busch Indianapolis Motor Speedway Results:
|Series||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Poles||Led||AvSt||AvFn|
|12 races||2 (’16 from pole & ‘15)||5||10||1||210||17.5||9.0|
|5 races||3 (’13, ‘15 & ’16 all from pole)||4||4||4 (’13, ’14, ’15, ‘16)||268||1.2||5.4|
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 would it mean to you to grab another ‘Brickyard’ victory with this year’s No. 18 XFINITY Series team?
“Indy is a special place and I know it means a lot to our team and to all of the competitors to try for a win there. Last year tires were key in the race, we had old tires at the end and I just dug in deep and gave it everything I had and knew I had to get really good restarts, which worked out. Our team gave me a really fast car then, and I know Eric (Phillips) and this 18 team will too. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to be able to go back to Indy as defending winners here, but you start over, you know, and work hard to defend that title. I hope we are able to give our NOS Energy Drink partner and our crew members that opportunity again to visit victory lane at this special track. It would mean a lot.”
From the Pit Box, Crew Chief Eric Phillips:
How will you prepare for the famed Indianapolis XFINITY Series race Saturday with defending winner Kyle Busch?
“This week’s race in Indy will be a challenging weekend with the new aero package and reduced horsepower. There are a lot of unknowns. We were unable to do any testing with the 2017 Indy package, so it will be critical to get balance right while the reduced horsepower on throttle time will be at a premium. If we have to get out of the gas we’ll lose a lot of spots down the long straightaways. Practice will be challenging as well only having two 55-minute practices with the long pit road and distance to and from the garage. We’ll be lucky to get four runs through practice. The (No.) 18 team is looking forward to the challenge and we feel very strong about adapting to the new situations.
“Indianapolis motor Speedway is like the Super Bowl or World Series. Growing up in the Midwest, to me, I don’t think I missed an ‘Indy 500’ from the time I was about eight years old until I think I moved away from home to pursue racing professionally. We would get up on that Sunday morning and be around the TV watching the entire pre race and then the race. It was our Super Bowl party. Indy was the first paved oval that my Dad took me to. We never made it to the ‘500’ itself but did go once to the carburetor day on a Friday afternoon. If the (No.) 18 team was able to win on Saturday it would be the most special win to me in my NASCAR career.”
No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team Members:
|Driver – Kyle Busch||Crew Chief – Eric Phillips||Car Chief – Chris Meyers|
|Race Engineer – Chris Whitenight||Shocks/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 or facebook.com/NOSEnergyDrink and tag #NOSEnergy #NOSRowdy.