Usually a Bridesmaid in Atlanta, This Time Owner-Driver Aims to be a Bride
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Kyle Busch has enjoyed much success over his NASCAR Nationwide Series career, recording 51 victories, the most of any driver. While he has visited victory lane at most Nationwide Series tracks on the circuit, the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (AMS) is one that has eluded the 2009 series champion. In eight starts on the 1.54-mile oval between 2011 and 2003, the young veteran has obtained two poles, five top-five and five top-10 finishes, recording a high-finishing position of second-place four times. Busch's statistics include a whopping 488 laps led, the most of any competitor in the series on this track. Needless to say, being a 'bridesmaid' four times is good, but Busch hopes this week's return to Georgia makes him a 'bride.'
Through six completed events over the past seven years, the 27 year-old ranks highest among drivers in several statistical categories at Atlanta Motor Speedway Nationwide Series races. Within this parameter, Busch is recorded first among his peers in Driver Ranking (127.2), Average Starting Position (2.8), Number of Fastest Laps (246) and Number of Laps Led (471). The Nationwide Series team owner is also recorded as the Fastest Driver Early in a Run with an average speed of 177.185 mph and second fastest Driver Late in a Run with an average speed of 170.575 mph. Busch boasts a Fastest Restart average speed of 170.133 mph as well as a highest Green Flag Speed of 173.191 mph. The statistics keep building in all categories, except one - number of wins.
This week, Busch and team are led once again by crew chief Mike Beam, who last year dominated the event with a pole, 101 of 195 event laps led and the victory. Beam looks forward to bringing a new car chassis to the mix on Saturday, hoping to repeat his success of one year ago and offer his No. 54 Monster Energy team owner-driver the opportunity to finally notch a win record into his Atlanta Nationwide Series notebook.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
After a string of difficult weeks, momentum seems higher right now with consistent top-10 finishes over the past few races. What are your expectations in Atlanta with this No. 54 crew? "It's true we've had some consistent runs. Just need to keep our focus going and not be distracted by some of the problems we've encountered. Mike (Beam, crew chief) has built us a new chassis, similar to the car we had for Richmond and Indy, which was fast, so Atlanta should be a good result.
I'm really excited about driving the No. 54 Monster Energy car this weekend. Monster's Eastern Business Unit is located not far from here, in Marietta. The Monster Energy employees and retail partners have been so supportive of Kurt and I, and the whole No. 54 team, so I'd like to put on a good show and give them another win. I think we have the car to do it."
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
You've built a new chassis for this week's Atlanta event, what are your expectations? "We are taking a new car that has some new components in it. We had this car in the wind tunnel last week and at the seven-post this week, so we are hoping it will perform like we feel it should. I have a couple of different chassis set-ups we will try in practice. The only problem is that Atlanta is worn out, so it is hard to do any testing because the times drop off so quickly with each heat cycle we put on the tires. But everyone is still working hard and hopefully we can win the race. We have Kyle in the car again, so we are excited because we know he will drive his heart out for this team."
Kyle Busch's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry:
Chassis KBM-011: KBM will unload car #011, a brand new race chassis seeing the track for the first time in 2012. The backup machine is Chassis KBM-007, regularly traveled as a second team car.
Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports