No Giving Up
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2015) – Just after the checkered flag dropped signaling his team’s advance into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Contender Round following Sunday’s race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kyle Busch issued a simple message: “There’s no ‘give-up’ in this 18 team.”
So, as Busch and his No. 18 M&M’S/Project Pink Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) head to the fourth race of the Chase this weekend at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, it only seems appropriate the message will be about another group without any “give- up,” as well.
For the third year, Busch, his wife Samantha and the Kyle Busch Foundation (KBF) embark on the Project Pink charity initiative in support of breast cancer patients and the North Carolina-based Pretty in Pink Foundation. This year, M&M’S is showing its full support of the initiative by wrapping the No. 18 M&M’S Camry in pink as it hits the track at Charlotte this weekend for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500.
As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Kyle Busch Foundation will host active North Carolina breast cancer patients from the Pretty in Pink organization during Saturday night’s race. Additionally, KBF is donating $57,000 to cover the medical expenses of the organization’s 22 “Champions” who are currently going through treatments for breast cancer.
Since 2013, KBF has donated more than $200,000 to the Pretty in Pink Foundation to cover the expenses of breast cancer treatments for 76 patients who are either uninsured or underinsured. KBF raises funds throughout the year and donates a percentage of the merchandise sales of Busch’s special paint scheme for the Charlotte race. In addition to trackside sales, merchandise for the pink No. 18 M&M’S Camry can be purchased at www.RowdyBusch.com.
With Busch now among the final 12 drivers remaining in the Chase, the focus will also be on getting to victory lane at a place where a win has eluded him over the years. With 12 combined Charlotte wins between NASCAR’s Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series, the Las Vegas Native has spent plenty of time in victory lane at the 1.5-mile oval in the heart of NASCAR country.
But the driver of the No. 18 M&M’S/Project Pink Foundation Toyota would love to highlight his resume with his first Charlotte Sprint Cup win in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at the racetrack Busch says is among his favorites on the circuit.
Despite not having a race win, Busch has managed to enjoy plenty of success on the 1.5-mile oval known as the “Beast of the Southeast” during his 23 previous Sprint Cup starts there. He’s riding a streak of 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in the last 18 points-paying races there dating back to October 2006.
So as Busch and the M&M’S team take to the track at Charlotte this weekend, they’ll most certainly draw some inspiration from many “Champions” who aren’t giving up, either. Busch would like nothing more than for all of them to be celebrating in victory lane together come Saturday night.
KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S/Project Pink Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
You have a big weekend on tap with the Kyle Busch Foundation’s Project Pink and the pink M&M’S Toyota on-track Saturday night. What has this initiative meant to you and your wife Samantha?
“Going through treatments for breast cancer is stressful enough, so it’s been important to Samantha and I that we’ve been able to help our ‘Champions,’ as we call them, in order to take away the financial stress that can also come with going through treatment. I want to thank M&M’S for all of their support of the Kyle Busch Foundation’s Project Pink and our work with the Pretty in Pink Foundation this weekend. We’ve been able to donate more than $200,000 and financially support 76 active breast cancer patients through treatments since we started with the program in 2013. For 2015, the Kyle Busch Foundation is donating $57,000 to help support 22 ‘Champions’ throughout North Carolina through Pretty in Pink Foundation, and we’re excited to have many of them at the track with us in Charlotte this weekend. A percentage of the merchandise sales of the pink M&M’s Camry will also be donated to Pretty in Pink Foundation, which is really cool, as well.”
What does it mean to advance to the Contender Round, which starts this weekend?
“I just can’t say enough about my team. There’s just no ‘give-up’ in this No. 18 M&M’S team. The points reset, now, so we’re back even with those guys and hopefully we can have a good, solid next three races. Charlotte has always been a good place for me and, with the way we ran at Chicagoland, it should give us some confidence going into this weekend. We would love to get a win, though, and get locked into the next round, that’s for sure.”
You’ve won at 17 different racetracks but you still haven’t won at Charlotte. Would you consider winning the October race at Charlotte to also be a huge feather in your cap?
“Winning at Charlotte Motor Speedway, since it’s one of my favorite tracks, would be really special since I’ve been able to win there in other series and have been close a lot in the Sprint Cup car. It seems like the month of May at Charlotte just hasn’t liked me too much. We got to win in the Truck Series there in the spring, so I’m hoping we can change that this weekend and get a fall Sprint Cup win. There are plenty of other tracks we need to win at, too, but there’s no doubt a Charlotte win would be big.”
What are the challenges of racing at Charlotte?
“I think the biggest challenge about Charlotte is how much the track changes from practice. You practice all during the day and then you go into night racing. You’ve got to know what kind of adjustments to make to your car and how well you can race at night. Typically, you go back to your night notes. For us, we’ve run well there in the past and like going there. It’s a fun place to race and adds to the excitement of spending some time at home.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine