By John Harvey, firstname.lastname@example.org
September 7, 2013
WILLIAMSBURG— For most of the year, the common mode of transportation along Duke of Gloucester Street is a horse and buggy.
Thursday afternoon, it was the M&M's Toyota Camry of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch that made an appearance in Merchants Square as part of Colonial Williamsburg's "History Meets Horsepower" promotion.
Several hundred fans packed the street in front of the Kimball Theatre to get a glimpse of one of NASCAR's top drivers.
The program is a collaboration between Colonial Williamsburg, Mars Chocolate North American and Richmond International Raceway to help promote tourism in Virginia. Thursday's event included a colonial chocolate history demonstration with American Heritage Chocolate.
Busch's wife, Samantha, participated in the presentation, which included making chocolate truffles with Colonial Williamsburg executive chef Rhys Lewis, and preparing Samantha's recipe for homemade chocolate bark.
"This is great," Kyle Busch said following the cooking presentation. "Colonial Williamsburg, I've never been to before. This is my first time visiting, so I'm sort of getting the lay of the land and seeing what there is to see."
Kyle Busch and his wife spent time signing autographs before walking down to the capital to check out an installment of Revolutionary City. He also made a stop at the magazine, where he was to fire a cannon.
"It's been a pretty interesting deal so far and there's still plenty more to see," Busch said. "It's a cool opportunity for history to meet horsepower for some great NASCAR fans in the area to get to see our car, of course against a horse and buggy."
Busch has been impressive since joining the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit full time in 2005. He has 28 career wins, including a victory last week at Atlanta to secure a spot in the Chase for the championship. This year, he has four wins and 11 top-five finishes.
"The year has gone pretty well for us generally, but having the success that we had last weekend in Atlanta went well," Busch said. "It's good to get some wins late in the year to get us prepared for the Chase. We're looking forward to final 11 weeks here, starting in Richmond and going on through the Chase."
Busch said missing the Chase last year made him a better driver.
"Last year was pretty devastating for us," he said. "We had to go through the final weeks just racing for wins and to see if we could get to 13th in points.
"We learned a lot through the championship run, being able to sort of put ourselves in the Chase to see how we stack up against the competition," he continued. "Even with an engine failure at Loudoun (New Hampshire) and the crash we had in Kansas, we would've finished third in the championship. That wasn't too bad, considering how our year was."
Busch is looking forward to this weekend at a track that's been one of his favorites.
"Something fits well for us," he said of Richmond. "It's kind of a quick weekend. You practice, qualify, and then you race."
Copyright © 2014, Newport News, Va., Daily Press