There is one race remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series Round of Eight, and Kyle Busch is above the cutline. He has a one-point cushion and can lock up his spot in the championship four with a strong performance at Martinsville Speedway. However, the two-time Cup Series champion knows that he has a “fight” ahead of him.
Busch conducted an email interview with Heavy prior to the pivotal October 31 playoff race at Martinsville Speedway. He explained that he is in a better position than he expected after hitting the wall multiple times at Kansas Speedway and finishing 28th overall. He just has to capitalize on early opportunities and lock up as many points as possible to maintain his advantage.
“I was expecting much worse with how our race went at Kansas,” Busch told Heavy. “We still have a decent shot, but it’s just going to be tough. Just going to be a hard-fought fight for that final spot with our M&M’S Halloween Camry. You don’t necessarily have to win, but certainly, we are going to have to work hard to get upfront and stay up there, get as many stage points as possible and see where things shake out. Whether we can get a top-five or even a win, we’ll see how the race plays out.”
Busch Will Celebrate Halloween While Pursuing Points
While Busch pursues playoff points at Martinsville Speedway, he will continue a years-long tradition with a key partner. He will head to the Virginia short track with a special Halloween scheme on the No. 18 JGR Toyota Camry.
Busch has showcased the Halloween schemes several times throughout his NASCAR career, and 2021 is no different. Though the race will cap off a week in which Busch and the No. 18 team spent time trying to provide joy to those that may be less fortunate.
“It’s great to have the M&M’S Halloween scheme back on the car,” Busch said. “This year M&M’S is bringing Halloween celebrations to communities around the country, partnering with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte. Me and some of my No. 18 team spent time packing a race-themed package for the Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte earlier this week, which of course included some M&M’S candy for the Halloween celebration.”
Busch Will Start the Playoff Race Behind Other Playoff Drivers
Busch will start the pivotal playoff race on the fourth row, behind the other drivers fighting for spots in the championship four. He will line up next to Ryan Blaney, who currently sits one point below the cutline.
The reason for this starting position is that NASCAR used the lineup formula to determine the order, which takes into account the most recent race on the schedule. 15% of the formula is the fastest lap, 25% is the driver’s final race finish position, 25% is the owner’s final race position, and 35% is the owner’s points position.
Busch finished 28th at Kansas after hitting the wall while Blaney finished 37th after a collision with Austin Dillon sent him into the wall. Busch had the 19th-fastest lap while Blaney had the 10th-fastest lap.
The starting position will be less important based on Busch’s history at Martinsville. He started outside of the top five both times that he won at the short track. He started seventh in 2016 and won. One year later, he won the playoff race at Martinsville after starting 14th and locked up a spot in the championship four.
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