HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (April 18, 2018) - Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M'S Flavor Vote Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), knows plenty about winning. He's the winner 45 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, which includes the last two stops on the circuit coming at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, site of Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400, is a place where Busch could bring home his third consecutive checkered flag while sporting a scheme that could help choose another type of winner.
Busch will debut a brand new scheme at Richmond this weekend as the M&M'S brand has recently launched three, brand-new, limited-edition flavors as part of its second Flavor Vote campaign: Crunchy Espresso, Crunchy Raspberry and Crunchy Mint. The new flavors are on sale at select retailers nationwide, where fans can purchase and try each new flavor and cast a vote for their favorite once a day until May 25.
Each new M&M'S flavor is made with dark chocolate and is wrapped in the brand's signature colorful crispy shell, offering fans a chocolatey crunch in every bite. The Crunchy Raspberry variety features a regular rice crisp center, and the Crunchy Espresso and Crunchy Mint varieties feature a cocoa rice crisp center.
M&M'S has made it easier than ever for its fans to try all the new flavors and vote for their favorite right from their cell phones. Fans can vote by uploading or taking a "selfie" at flavorvote.mms.com, or adding stickers to the image representing their favorite flavor. They can also share their reactions on social media with the hashtags #VoteCrunchyEspresso, #VoteCrunchyRaspberry or #VoteCrunchyMint. The brand's camera-shy fans can simply select their favorite flavor on the website to submit a vote, or text the word "VOTE" to 84444. The flavor with the most votes will be announced in August and will continue to be sold at stores nationwide for an 18-month period.
Back to the task at hand this weekend, a quick look at the Richmond stat sheet for Busch can easily make the case he is most consistent at the .75-mile short track in Virginia's capital city. Along with four series wins there, Busch has amassed 15 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s in 25 career starts there.
Additionally, the Las Vegas native is tops among active drivers with his average finishing position of 7.4 at Richmond. Next best is Kevin Harvick's average finish of 8.4. Busch has completed all but one of the 10,026 laps available to him in his 25 Richmond starts. Of those laps completed, Busch has run in the top-15 for 8,855 laps, or 88.3 percent, which is second-most among active drivers.
Saturday night, Busch and the M&M'S Flavor Vote team look to get back to victory lane, where Busch ended up after four consecutive spring-race wins from 2009 to 2012, besting Richard Petty's previous record of three Richmond spring-race wins in a row from 1971 to 1973. With those impressive statistics and records to back him up, it's little wonder that a visit to the "Capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia" is one of Busch's favorite stops on the NASCAR tour.
Busch will be shooting for his third consecutive win this weekend, a feat he accomplished during his 2015 Cup Series championship season with consecutive victories at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He narrowly missed a fourth consecutive win the following week at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, when his gas tank ran dry while leading on the white-flag lap.
So, as the series heads to Richmond for the first time this season, Busch and the M&M'S Flavor Vote team look to bring home their fifth career win there. While M&M'S fans will be choosing a winner between Crunchy Espresso, Raspberry, and Mint off the track, Busch will look to continue his winnings ways on it.
--- Joe Gibbs Racing ---