Kyle Busch impressive in test at Michigan

Kyle Busch impressive in first laps at MIS. 17-year old runs a half second off of the ARCA track record in first day of testing. BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Twenty-four year old Kurt Busch had an impressive run this weekend by winning the Auto Club 500...

Kyle Busch impressive in first laps at MIS.
17-year old runs a half second off of the ARCA track record in first day of testing.

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Twenty-four year old Kurt Busch had an impressive run this weekend by winning the Auto Club 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at California Speedway. But on Tuesday, it was another Busch who was equally impressive, as 17-year old Kyle ran only a half-a-second off the ARCA track record during testing at Michigan International Speedway in his first visit to the two-mile oval.

His unofficial speed of 183.670 mph was a half-second shy of the ARCA RE/MAX series qualifying record of 185.000 mph set by Jason Jarrett in June 2001. Busch tested under sunny conditions in preparation for the Flagstar 200 RE/MAX Series race on Saturday, June 14. Children 12 and under are free for the race.

Busch, in only his second ARCA RE/MAX Series start, captured his first career ARCA win three weeks ago in Nashville. At 16, Busch earned a pair of top-10 finishes in just six NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts before the sanctioning body mandated age restrictions in its top three series'. Hendrick Motorsports signed Busch earlier this year and recently announced he will run seven ARCA RE/MAX Series races along with six NASCAR Busch Series races this season, with a full-time ride in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2003.

Busch was happy to gain some valuable experience at MIS in preparation for the Flagstar 200 this Father's Day weekend. "It's a real nice facility and I enjoyed it today," Busch said. "We are just trying to gain experience, that's what it's all about, getting seat time. Hopefully we can get out of here with a good test and take the car home and evaluate it for when we come back here in June."

He'll turn 18 this Friday, and can't wait for his first NASCAR action since he was ruled ineligible in 2001. "It was a shot in the foot when we couldn't run the truck series anymore," said Busch. "But I guess the good thing is that my birthday is this Friday, we'll be 18 and good to go in all the major NASCAR leagues."

The young Las Vegas driver has not only has impressed car owner Rick Hendrick in his limited time behind the wheel, but his veteran crew chief Gary DeHart, who has won two races as a Winston Cup crew chief at MIS, can't help but marvel at the 17-year old's talent and patience. "Everytime we go to the track he amazes me," DeHart said. "It's weird because it's like he not really 17-years old, just like Rick (Hendrick) said, it's more like he's 25 or 26 year's old. He's a phenomenal person and he's got quite a career ahead of him."

Busch has taken the opportunity with Hendrick Motorsports as a chance to step out from behind his brother (Kurt) and be his own person. "I want to make my own identity and my own name in the sport," Busch said. Everybody says there's Kurt's little brother, but I want people to say, there's Kyle Busch, he's on top of the charts and he's fast. I want to make a name of my own but I can't say that I haven't followed in his footsteps at all because I did. He led me up to the big leagues and got my foot in the door and a chance to let Rick Hendrick look at me. We had some great runs in the Truck Series and Rick Hendrick was able to say, this kid can shoot."

For ticket information to all events at MIS in 2003, including the June 15 Flagstar 200, contact the MIS ticket office at (800) 354-1010 or visit www.MISpeedway.com.

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Kurt Busch , Jason Jarrett , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports