Kyle Busch's win at Michigan International Speedway was a big achievement, and for several reasons. Busch not only clinched his place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but it also made him eligible for the Sprint Summer Showdown that culminates at the AdvoCare 500 held Sept. 4 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch appeared to be cruising to victory when a late caution flew, setting up a green-white-checkered overtime finish for the 43-car field. Busch held of five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on the restart to escape the Irish Hills with his first-career Sprint Cup win at Michigan.
Busch joins Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose as the drivers currently eligible for the $1,000,000 payday if any of these drivers can take the checkered flag at the AdvoCare 500 at AMS over Labor Day weekend.
"I can't say enough about Sprint," said Busch, in victory lane after the race. "Being in the Sprint Summer Showdown, I hope we get a chance at Atlanta to run up front and win the thing, and bring home some extra money for charity, for a fan and for all of us here at Joe Gibbs Racing."
Busch visited Atlanta earlier in the week to promote the AdvoCare 500 and said that being eligible for a $1,000,000 bonus would encourage him and other qualified drivers to hang it all out at the end of the race. With Busch's Chase fate being locked up, he'll certainly be looking to do whatever it takes to put his No. 18 in position to win at Atlanta.
Non-eligible drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Gordon have one more opportunity to punch their ticket for the Sprint Summer Showdown by taking the checkered flag next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Sprint Summer Showdown was introduced earlier this summer as a way to up the level of competition for the five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events leading up to Atlanta Motor Speedway's Sept. 4 AdvoCare 500.
The five Sprint Summer Showdown winning drivers will have more than their wallets on their mind when the Sprint Cup circuit hits Atlanta. Each eligible driver will be paired up with a lucky fan, and both the fan and a charity of the driver's choice will have a chance to win $1,000,000. Busch's charity is his personal charity, the Kyle Busch Foundation.
Fans that would like to enter the contest can visit sprint.com/speed.
NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4. Tickets for the AdvoCare 500 start at $39 and $19 for students. Children 12 and under admitted free for the Great Clips 300 and the Atlanta 200 with an adult ticket. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.