ASHLAND CITY, TENN – The State Water Heaters brand took the checkered flag while leading for the first time this season, and the second time in the brand’s history, when Kurt Busch took the lead in the final laps to win the STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on March 30.  State served as an associate sponsor on Kurt Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

Initially, a win at the STP 500 seemed unlikely for the No. 41 team after an early-race incident left Busch’s car damaged. Never one to give up, Busch went to work and steadily picked up positions. After a late-race duel with Jimmie Johnson, the Haas Automation & State driver secured a victory for the Stewart-Haas Racing entry, earning his first win of the season.

“It was a tough 500 laps for our driver, but Kurt was able to perform at his best in the closing laps, proving he’s tough and dependable under pressure,” said Jeff Storie, State Water Heaters senior marketing manager. “That’s what the State brand is all about, so we’re just proud to be part of his winning team this year. From all of us here at State Water Heaters, we’d like to send our congratulations to Kurt and the folks at Stewart-Haas Racing on their victory at Martinsville.”

“I never thought I had a chance at Martinsville,” said Busch. “It’s usually not a track I do well on, but the cards were in my favor that day, and I raced strong. After a few tough turns this season, I’m just really proud to bring home this win for Haas Automation, State Water Heaters and my entire team and crew at Stewart-Haas Racing. Everyone has worked so hard, and this wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”

Busch’s STP 500 win marks his 25th Sprint Cup victory in 477 career starts and the first time he’s won at Martinsville since October 2002. Up next, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion will compete in the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup race on Sunday, April 6, at Texas Motor Speedway.