LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch has added a champion’s perspective to his formidable skills as a race car driver.

The reigning Sprint Cup champion will attempt to enhance his place in the NASCAR standings when he climbs inside the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Sunday’s running of the New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Busch finished second to six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in Friday’s qualifying and will begin the race on the outside of the first row.

Busch took the checkered flag in this event last July and owns an impressive resume on the Magic Mile. Busch has run 22 Sprint Cup races at NHMS, and has two wins, three second-place finishes and eight top fives.

“This race track for us seems pretty good over the years, and over the past few years we finally figured out our short track program and getting that going at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Busch before qualifying. “We’ve qualified up front and we’ve led some laps and have yet to find some speed on the long runs, and that seems to be where we lack a little bit still.”

Busch’s victory at New Hampshire last July occurred in the middle of the most productive stretch of the greatest comeback in auto racing history. He missed 11 Sprint Cup races after crashing into the wall at Daytona in an Xfinity series race on Feb. 21, 2015. Busch suffered a compound break in his lower right leg and a fractured left foot.

Busch returned to racing with a sixth- place finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 at Charlotte Speedway. He secured his first victory of the season when he took the checkered flag in the Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28.

He followed with a 17th place at the Coke Zero 400 on July 5 back at Daytona, but rebounded in a big way by winning the Quaker State 400 on July 11 at Kentucky Speedway, his first of three straight victories.

Busch was in 35th place in the driver’s standings when he arrived in Loudon last July but won that race, and the following week at Indianapolis Speedway. He qualified for the Chase and secured his first Sprint Cup title with a victory at Homestead on Nov. 22.

He began this season with a broader outlook on racing and a greater appreciation for what he does for a living.

“Certainly there were a lot of questions in my head throughout the beginning part of the season as whether or not this is something I need to continue doing,” said Busch. “There was no doubt in my mind that all the answers were ‘Yes, I want to get back in that race car.’

“It was such a great accomplishment for myself and my family, and my team. It definitely meant so much more going through the things that I did last year.”

Busch already has secured a place in this year’s Chase, which begins at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 18. He is currently sixth in the standings with 521 points with three wins and 10 top-five finishes.