KYLE BUSCH 'Triple-Double' Weekend HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (June 10, 2008) -- While the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics battle it out in the NBA finals, Kyle Busch is crafting his own version of a "Triple-Double" for the upcoming ...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (June 10, 2008) -- While the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics battle it out in the NBA finals, Kyle Busch is crafting his own version of a "Triple-Double" for the upcoming weekend.
The driver of the No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) doesn't care about field goals or free throws, rebounds, assists or blocks, but he does care about one thing -- getting behind the wheel of a race car whenever possible.
Much was made of last weekend's tripleheader in which the 23-year old Las Vegas native competed in NASCAR's top three series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Craftsman Truck -- over three days at three different venues. This weekend, he'll look to put a different twist on the feat by competing in three events ("triple") in two days ("double"). Busch's racing triple begins with Saturday afternoon's Craftsman Truck Series event at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, takes him approximately 300 miles to the south for Saturday night's Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, and ends with Sunday's Sprint Cup event back at Michigan.
Before he heads to Kentucky to compete in the No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota in Saturday night's Meijer 300, he'll participate in Saturday afternoon's Cool City Customs 200 Craftsman Truck Series event at Michigan, a race that's slated to begin at 3 p.m. EDT. From there, he'll take a helicopter from the track at Michigan to a local airport, where he'll fly into another airport near Kentucky Speedway, and take another helicopter to the race track to compete in Saturday night's 300-mile event that starts at 8:30 p.m. EDT. From there, he'll travel back to Michigan to compete in Sunday afternoon's LifeLock 400 Sprint Cup Series race.
Prior to Busch's arrival in Kentucky on Saturday night, all eyes will be on a 23-year old named Jeremy Clements. The Spartanburg, S.C., native has been chosen to practice and qualify the No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota and will be responsible for setting up the car prior to Busch's arrival in Kentucky Saturday night. Clements, along with crew chief Jason Ratcliff, will work hard to get the car to Busch's liking. Since the No. 18 team is outside the top-30 in Nationwide Series car owner points, Clements will have the task of not only being fast enough to make the 43-car field, but also qualifying the car toward the front in hopes of getting a good pit stall for the race. Regardless of where Clements qualifies the car, Busch will be forced to start at the back of the pack per the NASCAR rulebook, since the same driver who qualifies the car must start the race in order to keep the qualifying position.
Even though Busch is destined to start at the back of the grid, fans in the stands and watching on TV will no doubt enjoy watching Busch work his way through the pack once the green flag drops on Saturday night, and that includes the employees and agents of the Farm Bureau Insurance Companies. Through their 4,200-member agency sales force, Farm Bureau Insurance provides auto, home and life insurance to customers and fans throughout the Southeast and will be on board a JGR Toyota for the third time this season.
The Meijer 300 will also mark Busch's return to a JGR Nationwide Series car since April at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Busch looks to give the No. 18 team its fourth win of the season while notching his fourth win for JGR, adding to his JGR Nationwide Series wins at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Phoenix International Raceway and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City.
In his return to competing for JGR and Farm Bureau Insurance this weekend, he'll hope to turn his "Triple-Double" weekend into a quadruple for himself and his team on Saturday night in the Bluegrass State.
Kyle Busch -- Driver, No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Kentucky
What are your expectations at Kentucky this weekend with the No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance team, especially since you are planning on running the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race earlier in the day at Michigan?
"I'm really looking forward to it. The last time I raced there two years ago, I had a shot to win the race and missed out on it after I won my first race there back in 2004. We'll compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan and get right down to Kentucky and get in the Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota and see what we have there. It's going to be a busy day for me, but days like that almost feel normal to me now. It's going to be fun to get back in a JGR car and back with Jason Ratcliff and the guys on the 18 team. I know we have good equipment, so before I even get to Kentucky, I know we're going to have a shot at winning the race. Kentucky is just a fun place because it's wide and it's fast. You can run these cars so hard into the corner and still get through the corner pretty quick. It's gotten bumpier over the past several years, so it's definitely getting some character to it, which I like. It's always been a good track to me and I really like going there."
Jeremy Clements -- Substitute Driver, No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Kentucky
You're going to get the opportunity to practice and qualify the No. 18 car for Kyle Busch this weekend. What's the goal for you and the team to get the car set up for the race?
"I just really appreciate the chance to get to do this. It's just such a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it and hope it might yield something even bigger for me. I just want to go there and do a great job for Farm Bureau Insurance and the No. 18 team. We want to get the car as good as we can for Kyle so when he hops into it, he can drive it up to the front. But I'm sure there aren't any worries about that since I think he'll do that regardless. The first lap in qualifying will be very important and will just be conservative to get it in the show. And then, on the second lap, I'll go a little bit harder to try to get up toward the front and get a good pit stall for these guys. I've had plenty of laps at Kentucky in the ARCA RE/MAX series, so I'm comfortable there. I finished in the top-10 my last two starts there. The track is fun and fast and I'm really looking forward to this weekend."
Jason Ratcliff -- Crew Chief, No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Kentucky
With Jeremy Clements as your substitute driver, what will you and the team focus on to get the car adjusted for Kyle when he arrives in Kentucky for the race?
"I've known Jeremy (Clements) for a few years since his brother Jason has been our tire specialist on our team for about three years. I was able to go to Rockingham (N.C.) earlier this year and work with him a little bit in the ARCA race there. I think we have a great relationship and he should be able to communicate what the car is doing to the point where we can make the right adjustments and get the car ready for the race. I feel really confident that Jeremy will be able to give us what we need for Kyle (Busch) to get in the car. I think he can put down a solid lap in qualifying and just get us in the show since we will have to start in the back anyway. We went through this scenario a couple of years ago with J.J. (Yeley) and everything worked out well for us. We've run enough races with Kyle that we should be able to anticipate what he needs in the car. From what Jeremy says he thinks is good about the car, we'll think about what we need to do above and beyond that to make it good for Kyle. I think that is the most difficult part, but it won't be too bad since we have enough notes on Kyle from earlier this year. Plus, we also have the ability to go off of what the 20 car is doing, since it seems like Joey (Logano) and Kyle are similar in what they like in the car. It's going to be a long day for Kyle, running the Truck race and then coming to Kentucky and getting in the Farm Bureau Insurance car. So, hopefully, we can get the car good at the start of the race and be there at the end and Kyle will do the rest."