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New Hampshire hosts Kyle Busch’s 300th Xfinity Series start

Kentucky Speedway - Day 2

Kentucky Speedway - Day 2

Jeff Curry

Though unfortunate circumstances prevented it from happening sooner, Kyle Busch will mark a Xfinity Series milestone this weekend with the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which will air on NBCSN.

Driving his usual black No. 54 Toyota, Busch will make his 300th Xfinity Series start.

It will be only his fourth start of the season after returning from injuries in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway that sidelined him for nearly three months.

Busch’s first appearance in the series was on May 24, 2003 at the age of 18. Busch drove for Hendrick Motorsports in the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he qualified his No. 87 Chevrolet in second before finishing fifth.

He would compete six more times that year but wouldn’t earn his first win until his 18th start, in 2004 at Richmond International Raceway.

Eleven years later, Busch has an Xfinity Series-record 71 wins, 177 top-five and 212 top-10 finishes.

Races at New Hampshire account for nine of Busch’s 199 starts to date.

“I expect us to be competitive. New Hampshire has always been a good track for us,” Busch said in a team release. “Unfortunately, we had a good car last year, but ran out of time there at the end and finished second. It’s a tough racetrack, especially passing people there. If you get back in traffic for whatever reason, it takes awhile to make that up so good pit stops are important.”

Of the 1,819 laps Busch has been eligible to run at Loudon in the Xfinity Series, he has completed 1,738, or 95.5 percent. Of those, he has led for 448 of them, or 26 percent, on the way to four of his 71 wins. Busch has an average finish of 8.7 and one DNF (2012) at the track.

“Fuel is usually a concern of course, at the end of the race for everybody,” Busch said. “You just never know how much you’re saving when you’re out there running around making laps. You just have to try and protect everything you have -- save fuel, save brakes, save tires in case there are late cautions you want to get a jump on everybody and be able to have something to race with.”

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