Stats Speak for Themselves
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 13, 2012) - This week team owner and driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry, Kyle Busch, will bring his developing NASCAR Nationwide Series team to the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway, a track where he is the youngest winner of record in the Series and where he holds the highest achievements among his peers, in several statistical categories. After a rough 2012 season start, which has yielded two on-track incidents that have challenged the newly formed crew, this Toyota team is ready to face the historical 'World's Fastest Half-Mile,' where their car owner's Monster Energy has resulted in many winning performances.
With the most number of races run (13) among active drivers, over the last seven seasons, Busch maintains strong statistics in the Nationwide Series at Bristol Motor Speedway, garnering category dominance with the highest driver rating (113.3), highest number of green flag passes (356), highest quality of green flag passes (278), highest number of fastest laps run (470), highest number of laps in the top-15 positions (2,760), highest number of laps led (974), highest percentage of laps led (28.4%), highest speed on restarts (114.171 mph), fastest driver late in a run (115.578 mph) and top closer with a total of 23 positions moved up in the last 10% of race laps run.
In recent years, Busch has been dominant across all three National Series at Bristol. The 26-year-old Bristol expert has won each of the last three NASCAR Nationwide Series races - leading 567 of 800 possible laps - four of the last six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races - including last year's spring race - and has also drove Kyle Busch Motorsports to victory in three of the last four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
In August of 2010, the driver recently touted as a 'future all-time great' by motorsports reporter Peter M. De Lorenzo, made NASCAR history when he became the first driver to sweep its top-three series, Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series, at a single venue - Bristol Motor Speedway. Saturday, the owner-driver hopes to parlay his recent success on the high-banked oval into the first ever NASCAR Nationwide Series victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports and partner Monster Energy.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
What is it about Bristol that makes you successful there?
"I like going to Bristol -- it's always fun. What set in there to allow me to run as well as I do? I've got no idea. It just kind of clicked."
Your qualifying and average running positions are lower at Bristol, while your finishing positions are high - what is the key to success for you as the race progresses?
"When we first started coming here, it was the old track configuration, which was fun, but caused us to race differently. Since they repaved the track and it's a smoother surface, we are able to run side-by-side racing. Being able to race a guy and pass him, without having to move his car out of the way - that fits my driving style. So while we may not start the race at the front, I get more comfortable and get into a rhythm on the long run which allows me to run better and work my way forward."
What are your expectations for this No. 54 KBM team going to Bristol for the first time together?
"I expect us to keep building our program-- we are learning every week. I've had a lot of success at this Bristol track and I enjoy racing here, so to do that in one of our own cars is going to be cool. We just need to keep working together and working better, myself as the driver and for the crew - we know what we have to do. "
You won here last spring in the NNS and Cup races, will those notes carry over to your new team?
"The notes will stay with Gibbs obviously, but what we've learned most these past few weeks together are that car setup is key. Having the car set right going in, and not trying too many different things at track, is important. The track, most of the time, will influence how your setup should be, not the tire. I expect my team and Mike (Beam) will be ready to make those adjustments once we get there and see what we've got."
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
Kyle won the Spring NNS and Cup races as well as the Fall NNS race at BMS in 2011 - he also holds some of the highest records currently at this track in the Series - does it make you more/less nervous going into the weekend, knowing how good Kyle is at Bristol?
"I'm really concerned about going to Bristol with Kyle, because I have been going to Bristol for 35 yrs., and he is the best there that I have ever seen. At one time, I thought Dale Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace were the best, but Kyle takes it to a new level. It is amazing to watch him there -- so there is so much pressure for us to perform and to be prepared to give him a car that he can win with.
The last two weeks I have not done that. I need to do a better job listening to Kyle because he knows what he wants in a car at Bristol to win. I feel I am letting Kyle and all the employees down right now. But we are changing the front-end geometry to what he has run and won there with in the past, in his Craftsman Truck, and I will try to give him that same feel.
Rick Ren, Eric Phillips and I have all won at Bristol and their internal help will greatly benefit us. It is a group effort on all of the company for the next two weeks until we can go track test during the two-week break and try some new components. I want to reward Kyle and Samantha and Monster Energy for their commitment, and all of the KBM employees for all of their hard work. That reward they all deserve is at least to contend for a win, for them and for all of Kyle's great fans that support us every week."