A season-long duel for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship lead took another new turn over the weekend with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch wrestling the top position away from Team Penske’s Joey Logano.
Busch reclaimed the lead by 13 points over Logano following Sunday’s action-packed afternoon on the historic Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International road course, where Busch finished 11th and Logano was 23rd.
So, for the first time since early June (following the first Pocono race), Busch is atop the standings. Four races remain to settle the regular season championship beginning with Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
And while Busch has certainly driven the No. 18 JGR Toyota to the top of the season rankings with four victories, a series-best 18 top-10 and 11 top-five finishes, the Michigan two-miler has remained a relatively challenging venue for the 2015 Cup champion.
Busch has one victory there, the second Michigan stop of the 2011 season. And he earned a pole position in 2008. He has 11 top-10 and seven top-five finishes in 29 career series starts. And he has a pair of NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory as well.
His 17.9 average finish in Monster Energy Series races, however, is the second worst such mark for Busch among the 14 remaining season venues. Only two tracks left of the schedule have resulted in worse overall marks for Busch – the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where he is averaging a 20.3 finish and the Charlotte ROVAL (which debuted on the schedule last season), where he finished 32nd last year in the only Cup race to date.