You may have forgotten due to the post-race mayhem Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, but Kyle Busch won his fifth race of the season and third of the playoffs.
Busch clinched the win after leading 183 laps early. Multiple late-race cautions allowed him to challenge for the victory.
This season Busch has benefited from visiting tracks a second time. All five of his Cup victories have come in the second visit to a track, beginning with his July 30 win at Pocono Raceway.
The victory was significant because it ended the longest winless streak of Busch’s career at 36 races.
Beginning with the July race at Daytona International Speedway, 13 of the final 20 races are return visits to tracks.
Martinsville marked the 11th return trip to a track since Daytona. Busch won at Pocono, Bristol, New Hampshire, Dover and Martinsville.
Busch has three tops 10s in those six races.
Last season, all four of Busch’s wins came in his first trip to a track or a lone visit (Indianapolis).
Busch, who advanced to the championship race with his Martinsville victory, goes to Texas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile track that underwent a repave and a reconfiguration in Turns 1 and 2 in the offseason.
The banking in Turns 1-2 was lowered from 24 to 20 degrees and the racing surface width was expanded from 60 to 80 feet in those turns.
Busch finished 15th in the April race after starting 34th.
“We struggled there in the spring, but I have heard the track has changed color a bit, so maybe the summer wore down the surface just a bit,” Busch said in a media release. “Right out of the gate, going there, we’ll still be trying to put rubber down.”
Busch had two Texas wins prior to the reconfiguration, coming in the spring races in 2013 and 2016. His last win on a 1.5-mile track was in May 2016 at Kansas Speedway.
“Texas is a really fast mile-and-a-half racetrack,” Busch said. “Charlotte has been fast the last few years and Texas has always kind of been that way. You’ve got to be able to move around a little bit and run the middle, run the top and show some ability to go all over the racetrack, so getting back to doing that soon would be great. Hoping that the track has worn in a bit more since the spring, and I’m curious to see how it’s going to be this weekend.”