NASCAR: Can the ‘Candy Man’ Kyle Busch Win the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway?

by Jonathan Howard

As the NASCAR world gets ready for Pocono Raceway, one driver to look out for is the Candy Man himself, Kyle Busch. Even though his future with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota seems to be up in the air, he’s got a job to do. Every time that Busch lines up, he’s trying to compete for wins. It just so happens that this weekend is the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400, what would be better than the No. 18 taking the checkered flag?

This is the point in the season when drivers have evaluated where they are and most are honest about their postseason hopes. With a win and six Top-5 finishes, Kyle Busch has had a solid season. He’s also 6th overall in the points standings.

Although he hasn’t been great since finishing second at Gateway, Busch might just pull off his second win of the year at Pocono Raceway.

Kyle Busch has four wins at Pocono in his career in the Cup Series. The wild thing is that Busch has earned all of those wins from 2017 to 2021. Last season, Busch took the flag at the second Pocono race of the year. He won back-to-back meetings there between 2018 and 2019. Basically, it’s been kind to him in the past few years.

While Denny Hamlin will have that seventh Pocono win hanging over his head, a history-making win, Busch might just swoop in and take his fifth checkered flag at the Tricky Triangle.

Days out from the Sunday start, Kyle Busch is an 8-1 favorite to win. Only Chase Elliott has better odds currently at 7-1. With four wins in five seasons, it makes sense that a lot of folks will have their eyes on that M&M’s Toyota Camry.

Kyle Busch Breaks Down the Tricky Triangle

So, what’s so hard about the Tricky Triangle? Pocono Raceway is proud of its unusual configuration. Drivers seem to either love it or hate it. Clearly, for Kyle Busch, the track has been kind in recent years. Back in 2018, the driver talked about what makes the course so difficult.

“Trying to pass people is the trickiest part because it’s so finicky there after getting your car set up by yourself in practice, but also getting it good for the traffic during the race and out-corner guys there. Having a lot of horsepower is important there, as well,” Busch said prior to winning the Gander Outdoors 400 that season.

This season, it’s been a lot about the young guys in NASCAR. It’s about those drivers who have gotten their first Cup Series win this year. However, these veterans are not outplayed. They have a ton of talent and energy left to give. So, if you see Kyle Busch driving for the win on Sunday, don’t be surprised.