Getting ‘ROWDY’ with SNICKERS® at Kentucky
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (July 3, 2017) – SNICKERS® is bringing back
its popular “Hunger Bars,” and one of the new hunger symptoms will be quite
familiar to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series fans.
Kyle Busch has raced with the SNICKERS® brand many times over the years, so it’s only appropriate that the driver nicknamed “ROWDY’ will sport his moniker on his SNICKERS® Toyota Camry this weekend at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta as a way to kick off the newest versions of the award-winning “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign.
SNICKERS® first launched Hunger Bars in 2015 to help fans identify who they become when they’re hungry.
It will once again replace the iconic SNICKERS® brand name on packaging with 25 new humorous and popular hunger symptoms, which include Busch’s nickname.
The new hunger symptoms join four returning fan favorites for a total of 29 unique SNICKERS® Bars. Available nationwide, the “ROWDY” bar provides NASCAR fans with a way to describe the dramatic, and humorous, effects of hunger that affect them every day if not satisfied.
As “Rowdy” the driver heads to Kentucky this weekend, he hopes to continue his strong record at the 1.5-mile oval, where he won two of the first five races, including the inaugural Cup Series race in 2011 and, most recently, in July 2015. The heavily worn racing surface and Kentucky layout Busch navigated to win both races is gone and was replaced by a newly repaved surface last season, along with a slight reconfiguration of turns one and two. Still, Busch managed a fifth-place finish on the new surface one yearago. This year, after issues with the track from the original repave, competitors will see yet another new layer on the track surface, which will present another new challenge for Busch and the entire field.
Even with the latest set of changes the Kentucky track surface this weekend, the driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS® Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is still optimistic about his chances at one of his best tracks statistically during Saturday night’s Quaker State 400. Busch is still looking for his first Cup Series win of the season, despite the fact he’s led the second-most laps in the series behind fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr.
As already noted, the Las Vegas native has quite the record at the racetrack that sits some 65 miles north and east of Louisville’s Churchill Downs, a legendary racing facility known for horsepower of an altogether different variety. Busch has notched victories at Kentucky Speedway in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions – Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck. Add his 2003 ARCA series win at Kentucky and Busch has been victorious in four racing divisions and has made quite a Kentucky home of his own in the state’s second-most-famous victory lane.
In the inaugural Cup Series event at Kentucky in 2011, Busch proved his worth when he led six times for a race-high 125 laps to be the historic first winner in NASCAR’s top series in the state. He enters Saturday night’s race tied with JGR teammate Matt Kenseth with an average finish at Kentucky of 5.2. He also leads the series in several statistical categories after the six races contested there thus far in NASCAR’s top division, during which he netted five top-five finishes.
Busch’s winning history at Kentucky started way back at the ripe age of 18, when he dominated the 2003 ARCA race while competing for Hendrick Motorsports. He led a race-high 91 laps en route to the victory.
He returned to the Bluegrass State the following year and found victory lane again, this time in his Xfinity Series debut at the 1.5-mile oval. In all, Busch has two wins, seven top-fives and has led 696 laps in seven Xfinity Series starts there. He also won the 2011 and 2014 Truck Series races to give him five top-10 finishes and 310 laps led in six Truck Series starts at the speedway. He’ll attempt to race and win in all three of NASCAR’s national series there this weekend.
So as the Cup Series makes a swing through the Bluegrass State Saturday night, fans of Busch are hoping that he can satisfy the hunger and bring home not only his third career Kentucky victory, but also his first Cup Series win of 2017 after many close calls so far this year.
KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS ® Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
What are your favorite moments at Kentucky Speedway?
“I have a few favorite moments, actually. The first time racing in the ARCA Series, I won that race a long time ago. And then just a few years ago when I was able to win the race at Kentucky in 2015 during my championship season, just coming back from injury, and that was the first of three races we won in a row. We were able to pass Joey Logano that year late in the race and go on to win – that was a fun one, too. The track that year was really wide, we were running four lanes off the bottom and that never happened before. I’m also really excited to have SNICKERS on board with me this weekend and also have ROWDY as one of the new hunger symptoms on their packaging and also on my racecar.”
Where do you have the Jukebox trophies from winning Cup and Xfinity races at Kentucky?
“One of our jukeboxes is downstairs in the play area, where we have the downstairs bar and pool table area. And the other one is in (son) Brexton’s playroom. He knows how to turn it on, goes up there and it’s playing whatever music is on. Brexton loves the jukebox, for sure.”
How big of a challenge do you have with turn one and two versus a completely different turns three and four at Kentucky?
“I think the biggest thing we saw last year is that the groove goes from being so wide coming out of turn four and down the front straightaway, it kind of narrows up getting into turn one and the racetrack width narrows up, not to mention the groove is probably only one car wide. Then, on the other end getting into turn three, the track kind of widens out down there and you have plenty of room, but again it narrows down and there’s only one groove. We tried our best to get it rubbered in during the test. It seemed, in turns one and two, the rubber laid down well but it was more of a challenge in turns three and four. We’ll see how it is this weekend.”
How does it feel to know you’ll always be the inaugural Cup Series winner at Kentucky for the rest of your career?
“I think it’s cool. You look at some of the new venues we’ve been to over the years and Jeff Gordon got to win a number of inaugural races, like the Brickyard, Fontana, and Kansas. He was always the guy who was known to figure out places the fastest, but we were able to be the ones to do that at Kentucky. There aren’t many opportunities these days to go to a new venue so, for us, being able to win the first race there was extra special, and we’ve really kept that going there by finishing in the top-10 in all the Cup races that have been run there. We’d certainly like to keep our record going there this weekend with our SNICKERS ROWDY Camry.”
Is Kentucky a special place for you?
“I love Kentucky. It was special there in 2011, when we were able to win the first Cup race there, and it stayed that way during our win there two years ago. I look forward to going back every year. It’s a pretty challenging racetrack. It used to be a place that lends itself to different kinds of setups because it was so rough. Fast lap times at Kentucky come from momentum. The place is so round that there’s not a ton of banking compared to some other 1.5-milers. It’s all about how round the corners are and just being able to maintain corner speed and stay on the gas. We certainly think we have as good a shot as any to get back to victory lane there with our SNICKERS ROWDY Camry. It’s a place we get excited about, for sure.”
Race 18 of 36 – Quaker State 400 – Kentucky
Car No.: 18 – SNICKERS® Toyota Camry
Teammates: Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19
Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.
Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kyle Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas
Crew Chief: Adam Stevens
Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio
Car Chief: Nate Bellows
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont
Race Engineer: Ben Beshore
Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania
Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson
Hometown: Bozeman, Montana
Spotter: Tony Hirschman
Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania
Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Tom Lampe
Hometown: Beatrice, Nebraska
Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie
Hometown: Mount Clemens, Michigan
Jackman: TJ Ford
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy
Hometown: Orange County, Virginia
Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber
Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York
Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara
Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio
Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pit Support: Jeff Koons
Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana
Road Crew Members:
Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price
Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively
Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher
Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York
Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape
Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
Race Engineer: Tyler Allen
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase
Hometown: Nichols, New York
Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones
Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
Mechanic: Todd Foster
Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama
Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth
Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois
Notes of Interest:
* The Quaker State 400 will mark Kyle Busch’s 444th career Monster Energy
NASCAR Cup Series start and his seventh NASCAR Cup Series start at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
* Busch has career totals of 38 wins, 21 poles, 153 top-five finishes, 228 top-10s and 13,102 laps led in 443 career Cup Series races. His most recent Cup Series win came in July 2016 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when he brought home his second consecutive win at the historic 2.5-mile oval. Busch’s most recent pole, the 21st of his career, came four races ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
* Busch has two wins, four top-five finishes and five top-10s and has led a total of 437 laps in six career Cup Series starts at Kentucky. Busch’s average Kentucky finish is 5.2.
* Kentucky Thoroughbred: In addition to winning the inaugural Cup Series race at Kentucky in 2011 and again in 2015, Busch has two wins (including 2016), seven top-fives, and has led a total of 696 laps in nine career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Kentucky.
* Loopy for Kentucky: With two wins in the first six Cup Series races run at Kentucky, Busch has strong statistics thus far since the series began visiting the 1.5-mile oval in 2011:
1. Laps Led: 437, or 27.3 percent, in six starts. Second-most in series.
2. Average Running Position: 4.909. Best in series.
3. Average Finish: 5.2. Tied for best in series.
4. Driver Rating: 125.6. Best in series.
5. Closers (average positions gained): 2.0, 12 positions moved up. Third-most in series.
6. Fastest on Restarts: 167.071 mph. Best in series.
7. Fastest Laps Run: 219. Second-most in series.
8. Average Green-Flag Speed: 172.212 mph. Best in series.
9. Laps in the Top-15: 1,524, or 95.1 percent. Best in series.
* 13,000: After leading 100 laps at Pocono last month, Busch bested the 13,000 mark in laps led in NASCAR’s top series. With his 13,099 Cup Series laps led, Busch is just the 11th driver to best the 13,000 mark.
* All-Star Winner: While it wasn’t a points-paying race, Busch brought home a Cup Series victory in May’s All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The win was Busch’s first victory in his 12th start in theAll-Star Race, the largest number of starts before an All-Star Race win. The previous high was held by Tony Stewart with 11 All-Star starts before his win in 2009.
* 38 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Indianapolis last July, the 38th points-paying win of his career, Busch is tied for 19th on the all-time Cup Series win list with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Matt Kenseth.
* Trimming the List: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City added to the list last season, Busch has won Cup Series points races at 21 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only two tracks he has yet to conquer in the Cup Series are Charlotte and Pocono. Busch, of course, was the winner of last month’s All-Star non-points race at Charlotte. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Four of Busch’s last six Cup Series wins have been his first at each track in NASCAR’s top series (Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville and Kansas). Of the 21 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
* All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win last July, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 34 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33.
* 173 and Counting: Busch enters Kentucky with 173 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (38), Xfinity (87) and Truck (48) following his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in May at Charlotte. Busch is entered in all three national series races this weekend at the 1.5-mile oval.