No driver has swept a track in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season.
Kyle Busch will attempt to become the first as he continues his championship defense in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC). Busch enters the race off a fifth-place finish in the Round of 8 opener at Martinsville last Sunday and is four points ahead of Joey Logano for the final advancement spot to the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He visited Victory Lane in the April Texas race by speeding away from the field on a restart with 33 laps left to break Jimmie Johnson's three-race wins streak at the 1.5-mile track. A win on Sunday would mean an automatic berth in the Championship 4, and a chance for a repeat championship.
“I had some wild races (at Texas) early on in my career and it wasn’t one of my favorite places, for whatever reason," Busch said. "Things have gone well, recently. The spring was a dream weekend for me, getting my second Sprint Cup win there. Obviously, the XFINITY Series wins I had there all in a row, and the Truck Series wins, have been real confidence boosters. I’ve sort of learned how to drive it a little bit better and I know what I need in my race car to make it easier."
Busch's run through this season's Chase is similar to his tour to the championship last season. He has not won a race in NASCAR's playoffs yet, but has registered four top-five and six top-10 finishes in his seven Chase starts. The absence of a Chase win shouldn’t worry the reigning series champion. After all, Busch’s first win in last year’s Chase didn’t come until the finale at Homestead.
"Anything can happen so we just have to make sure we can take what’s given to us like we did last year," Busch said. "There were some times we didn’t get the finishes we wanted, but we were still able to transfer through. This year, we will try to get the finish we do want and make our way through the rounds if possible and get to the end.
"Certainly, you’re on the highest of highs at the checkered flag at Homestead last year, but it just continues to diminish all through this year because, you know, you try to repeat and, if you can repeat, you’ll be at the highest of highs again. But eventually, in about three more weeks, your reign is over so you try to repeat if you can.”