Team Owner Brings Monster Energy to a Track He Wins Regularly At
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 22, 2012) - Owner-driver Kyle Busch will make his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), piloting the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in Saturday's History 300. Busch is very familiar with Victory Lane at his team's home track, winning 10 times in 40 career starts across NASCAR's top three divisions - including a record-tying six in the Nationwide Series.
Busch, recorded as the youngest NNS winner in 2004 on the 1.5-mile oval, last experienced Victory Lane at CMS in a 2011 Truck Series race. Prior to that year, he accomplished first place in the Nationwide Series during the fall of 2009 and the summer of 2010. Behind the scenes, KBM crew chief Mike Beam last experienced victory lane at CMS in the fall race of the 2011 Nationwide Series. Needless to say, they both intend on bringing a win home to the No. 54 team, where Busch is looking to record his first victory as driver for the team he has built and mentored in their initial season together.
The 27-year-old driver has recorded at least one pole at Charlotte in each of the last eight seasons, but none of those have come in the Nationwide Series. Busch will look to lengthen that streak in qualifying Saturday and then set his sights on accomplishing his first NNS win with his own team, adding to the success he has already achieved there.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
How will it feel to jump back into your team's NNS car at a track where you've had much success? "The cool thing about it is that I know Mike (Beam, crew chief) is the past winner at this track, so he's enjoyed success there too and knows what is needed to dial the car in for this race track. As far as being back with the No. 54 guys, I look forward to having some fun trying to get that first win - Kurt has his, now it's my turn. This track being close to home allows our friends and family to come out and watch us. That makes it extra special if we're able to pull off the win."
What have you found to be the keys to running well at Charlotte Motor Speedway? "You have to be consistent through the race and have a good-handling car throughout. Turns three and four are tighter than turns one and two, so moving all over the race track to find the best line is important. I've found you have to be good at the bottom and at the top in order to get the most out of the race track and your car."
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
What are your thoughts about racing Charlotte Motor Speedway? "This week we are taking the same car that we had at Texas, so we've updated the aero specifications on the car. The last time we ran this chassis the engine overheated so we didn't have the chance to see what it could really do. Hopefully, this week will produce a good run for us."
Does it make it easier being close to home when you race Charlotte Motor Speedway? "The KBM race shop is about an hour from the track in Concord (N.C.). It does help that the guys can sleep in their own beds and have rest from travel for one week. I've always enjoyed racing at Charlotte, especially because we have the chance to show friends and family what we do. This track has been good to me in the past and I'm hoping that will carry through to this new team."
Kyle Busch's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry:
Chassis KBM-008: KBM will unload car #008, the first car Kurt Busch drove this season with the No. 54 team at Texas Motor Speedway. The chassis qualified sixth at TMS; however, late-race engine issues forced the team into a 30th place finish. The backup machine for this weekend's No. 54 team is one that is frequently on standby, Chassis KBM-007.