Kyle Busch Ready for Successful Return to the Sonoma Valley SONOMA, Calif. (June 10, 2009) -- Kyle Busch earned his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course victory at Infineon Raceway last year, and the budding road-course ace will look to ...
Kyle Busch Ready for Successful Return to the Sonoma Valley
SONOMA, Calif. (June 10, 2009) -- Kyle Busch earned his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course victory at Infineon Raceway last year, and the budding road-course ace will look to continue that success at the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 19-21.
Despite his relative inexperience competing on the twisting terrain of road-course tracks, Busch found success in 2008. He brought home the trophy from the Mexico City Nationwide road-course race in April last year, and then went on to sweep NASCAR Sprint Cup's two road-course races, as well, winning at both the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway and the event at Watkins Glen.
What makes it especially hard to believe is that before those wins, Busch had raced a total of six Cup and one Nationwide Series road-course races, done a little bit of testing, and competed in a few Legends car events. In other words, he was one of the least-experienced drivers at the track.
When he came to Sonoma last June, Busch notched his first Sprint Cup Series road-course win by holding off David Gilliland and NASCAR road-racing ace Jeff Gordon, despite unloading a car that was a handful.
"Winning the Toyota race at Infineon Raceway was really cool," said Busch (M&M's Toyota), who earned Toyota its sixth win in the Sprint Cup Series and first in the Sonoma Valley. "For me, to be able to put myself on the list of road-course winners, that was pretty special, too."
Last year, Busch's weekend didn't start nearly as well as it ended. The car was a handful from the beginning, and it seemed to only get worse. But the crew changed everything, and when the race started, Busch went from 30th to 13th before the first green-flag pit stop. It was then that Busch and crew chief Steve Addington began dreaming of how well that day might end.
"I'm not sure in my whole Cup career that I've had that big of a turnaround in how the car drove from when we unloaded to the end of the race," Busch said. "It really amazed me. A lot of credit just goes to Steve (Addington), Toyota, and the M&M's guys for sticking with me when we didn't have a great car to start the weekend. They just kept digging and believed in me and I believed in them."
With this year's return to the Sonoma Valley, Busch will look to continue his winning ways and once again enjoy a sip from the Champion's Goblet in the Wine Country Winner's Circle.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
WHAT: Big O Tires Racing Season Presents: Toyota/Save Mart 350
WHEN: June 19-21 (Father's Day weekend)
2008 POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne
2008 WINNER: Kyle Busch
NOTABLE: The weekend will also feature competition in the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, NASCAR Camping World Series West event on Saturday.
START TIMES (Pacific):
Friday, June 19: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pole Day, 3:35 p.m.
Saturday, June 20: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, 10:50 a.m.; Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 21 (Father's Day): Toyota/Save Mart 350, 2 p.m.
TICKETS: $25-$130 single day/$99-$180 weekend; parking is FREE
INFORMATION: 800-870-RACE, www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com