On Wednesday, Kyle Busch added another trophy to his mantel. This time, it came in the form of an ESPY Award for Best Driver. Busch received the most votes among fellow nominees including 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, 2015 Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi and 2015 NHRA Pro Stock champion Erica Enders-Stevens.
NASCAR drivers have certainly fared well at the ESPY’s, claiming eight of the last 10 Best Driver awards. While that is neat and all, another cool stat is that on three of those eight occasions, the driver has won the previous year’s Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard as well as the NASCAR Cup Series championship. If you expand that list further, looking back at the award’s history, then that number doubles to six.
Kyle Busch had an incredible comeback in 2015 after a bone-crushing wreck during the XFINITY Series race at Daytona. After missing the first 11 races of the season, he came back to win four out of five races during the summer months of the NASCAR schedule. That final win was right here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He went on, of course, to win the 2015 Sprint Cup title.
Other drivers that have also won here at the Racing Capital of the World and gone on to win the championship and ESPY Best Driver include Dale Jarrett (2000), Bobby Labonte (2001), Tony Stewart (2006) and Jimmie Johnson (2009 and 2010).
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is rich with history and legends. It’s fitting that with the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard right around the corner, another NASCAR driver will be added to that list. Be sure to get your tickets to this year’s race as you will witness history in the making.
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