December 3, 2015

The Champion By NHMS Numbers

Kyle Busch's winning statistics at NHMS

Kyle Busch notched a win at NHMS in July
en route to his Sprint Cup title. (NHMS/HHP)
After closing the season with a championship-clinching win, Kyle Busch is back home in Las Vegas, Nev., for NASCAR Champion's Week, where he will celebrate his first Sprint Cup Series title.

Ever since he jumped into a full-time ride in 2005 at the age of 19, Busch has long been lauded as one of the brightest young stars in the sport.  He's won at least one race in every season of his career, and his accession to the pinnacle of the sport seemed long overdue.  It took 11 years, and at the age of 30, he is now the champion of NASCAR.

That certainly didn't come as a surprise here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a track at which Busch has regularly shown why he is considered one of the most talented in his sport.  Here's a look at the champion by the NHMS numbers:

2 - Sprint Cup Series race wins at NHMS: July 16, 2006 and July 19, 2015

8 - Times a driver has won at NHMS and gone on to win the championship: Jeff Gordon (1995, '96, '98); Kurt Busch (2004); Tony Stewart (2005, '11); Jimmie Johnson (2010); Kyle Busch (2015)

9 - Total NASCAR National Series wins at NHMS, along with the two Sprint Cup wins, it includes four XFINITY Series and three Camping World Truck Series wins

13 - Times in 22 Sprint Cup Series starts at NHMS that he has beaten his brother, Kurt

22 - Consecutive Sprint Cup Series starts at NHMS (dating back to the start of his career) that he has been running at finish

555 - Sprint Cup Series race laps led at NHMS, including 95 in July 2015

$3,208,646 - Purse money he has won from Sprint Cup Series races at NHMS

Congratulations to Kyle!  We look forward to him returning to NHMS on July 17, 2016, not only to defend his race title, but to continue the championship defense as well.

November 30, 2015

Magic Mile Power Rankings: Homestead

Final Standings for the 2015 Season

From IR to Victory Lane, Kyle Busch put an emphatic stamp on wacky and wild 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race season. And it was fitting for the 18 car to win his first championship in this kind of season, given he started off his year by missing the first 11 races due to injury in the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona.

Nine months later, Kyle Busch was taking a bow in South Florida, having captured his first-ever title in NASCAR premier stock car division. Busch finished the season with five wins and a 10.8 average finish, the most consistent season of his 11-year career.

Here's a look at the final Magic Mile Power Rankings for the 2015 season:

November 20, 2015

The Championship Four Preview

Homestead-Miami Championship Race Preview

Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr.
(L to R) will compete for the Sprint Cup Championship. (Getty)
There's one race left.

One race left to crown a champion.  One race left to leave a legacy.  One race left in Jeff Gordon's storied career.  This is it.  It all comes down to which of the four championship contenders finishes the highest (hopefully, first) on Sunday.

Here's a look at the four contenders and why they'll win the championship, following through on the opportunity will be up to them:

Kevin Harvick will win the championship because...

November 16, 2015

Magic Mile Power Rankings: Miami

Next Up: Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship Race
at Homestead-Miami Speedway

And then there were four. That's all that's left as the final race remains on the schedule: the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.

While he won't be competing for this year's championship in South Florida, Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued the red-hot streak of Hendrick Motorsports, becoming the third straight driver in the organization to win a Chase race. Jeff Gordon, who will get a chance to race for the title on Sunday, won at Martinsville, six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson won at Texas last week, and Junior picked up the victory in the rain-shortened race this past weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

This being the last week of the season, here's a look at the rankings heading into the 36th and final race on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.:

November 13, 2015

Phoenix: Three To Watch

Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500

Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix in March, his fourth
consecutive win at the track. (Getty Images)
There's one race left before The Race.  Phoenix International Raceway is the final opportunity for the seven Chase contenders not named Jeff Gordon to stake their claim on one of three remaining spots in the Championship Race at Homestead next Sunday.

For some drivers, that task will be harder than for others.  Joey Logano can only get in via a win, while the same fate is virtually true for Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch.  At seven points back of the cut line, Carl Edwards sits in a position to vulture a spot on points if one of the top three in points slip up.  Those three are Kyle Busch (11 points to the good), Kevin Harvick (10 points) and Martin Truex Jr. (seven points).  As previously mentioned, Gordon is already through by virtue of his Martinsville win.

Here are three championship contenders to watch closely at Phoenix:

Green Flag - Kevin Harvick

He's won the last four (yes, four) Cup races at Phoenix.  Need we learn more about what makes him the favorite?