New Season and High Expectations for New Nationwide Series Team at Kyle Busch Motorsports
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 21, 2012) - Kyle Busch is anxious to see his team's hard work pay off in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday. Expectations are set high for the full-time No. 54 Monster Energy team as a new addition to Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team's goal will be to capture an Owner's Championship in its inaugural season, similar to the Owner's Championship accomplished by KBM in its first full year in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010.
Last month KBM announced the multi-year agreement with Monster Energy Company as primary sponsor of the team's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry. Team owner Kyle Busch, the all-time race winning driver in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will share driving duties with his brother Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.
Kyle will drive Daytona and the next four races through California before splitting the balance of the season with Kurt, who will debut in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota April 13th at Texas Motor Speedway.
KBM team owner and driver Kyle Busch comments, "There has been a great start to this partnership already with Monster Energy. They are as committed to racing and winning as I am. With the addition of Mike Beam and an experienced NNS crew, I'm excited about getting in our new No. 54 Camry and seeing what we can accomplish together. I told myself we'd be realistic and give ourselves the first 10 races to see what we had, but I really want to give Monster Energy their first taste of victory lane in the Nationwide Series, right out of the gate. I've never won this February Daytona Nationwide Series race, so it's going to be fun to try!"
In 222 starts over nine seasons, Kyle has proven himself to be the winningest competitor in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In addition to his 51 career wins, Kyle has secured 120 top-five finishes, 149 top-10 finishes and 23 poles. In 2010, Kyle made Series history with a record 13-win season. Past NASCAR Nationwide Series Championships for Kyle include a Driver's Championship in 2009 and Owner's Championships in 2008 through 2010 -- all with Kyle's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Joe Gibbs Racing.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR NNS Monster Energy Camry:
Explain the feeling of starting fresh with a new season and a new race team under the KBM brand:
"Adding a Nationwide Series team to the company is a natural progression for us. We have worked very hard to put the right people and processes in place to be able to compete at a high level and advance to the next Series. It is important to me that KBM remain sustainable for the employees and families that are invested here, and moving into the Nationwide Series we feel will give us that platform for continued growth. I'm excited to see Jason Leffler join our team on the Truck Series side. On the Nationwide Series side, I hope Kurt and I can reach our goal with the Owner's Championship - it's going to be fun trying!"
You had Cup Series testing time in Daytona but the new No. 54 NNS Monster Energy chassis hasn't seen this track yet--what are your expectations for this new car in Daytona?
"We did have a productive test session on the Cup side and with that it gave me added seat time on Daytona's pavement. Toyota Racing has good resources for us with these new car setups, and we've been in the wind tunnel, which will help us. I expect Mike Beam and I will have to go through the normal routine of making adjustments to our liking after a few on-track sessions, but I expect us to be competitive."
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR NNS Monster Energy Camry:
You've worked with a variety of successful drivers over the years, how do you feel about racing at Daytona with Kyle Busch? What will your expectations be for this initial team start?
"I am looking forward to racing in Daytona with Kyle Busch because he has won at this type of track before. I feel our chances are good and hopefully all of the hard work and long hours will be rewarded with a great run. As a new team, I know we will have some obstacles to overcome and the test of how good this team is will be how we handle ourselves. If we can contend for the win at Daytona and do our very best we'll leave out of Daytona with a good solid top-10 finish. If the pit stops go well, and we limit our mistakes--I will be pleased. As I have told this team, I measure success no matter what the outcome of the race is as long as we have all done our very best."
Kyle Busch's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry:
Chassis KBM-005: Kyle Busch Motorsports will unload a brand new Toyota Camry for Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300. This Chassis, KBM-005, along with it's sister backup Chassis, KBM-004, are new cars that will be reserved for KBM Super Speedway racing scheduled for Daytona and Talladega events this season. The NNS team has eight new car chassis built so far, which will debut at various style tracks through the year.