KYLE BUSCH & TAYLER MALSAM Home Game with a Familiar Look MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 19, 2010) - Things always seem a little bit easier when you're in familiar surroundings. For teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, this week's North ...
KYLE BUSCH & TAYLER MALSAM
Home Game with a Familiar Look
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 19, 2010) - Things always seem a little bit easier when you're in familiar surroundings. For teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, this week's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway should feel like "home sweet home," given that a majority of the teams are located a stone's throw from the 1.5-mile oval.
Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), which fields trucks for driver-owner Kyle Busch and his teammate Tayler Malsam, is one of those teams. And its crew members, like so many others during Charlotte Speedweeks, will sleep in their own beds and make the short commute to Charlotte Motor Speedway for one of the few "home games" on the NASCAR schedule.
For Busch especially, this week's race will have a familiar feel as he'll be sporting a longtime sponsor of his from the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Z-Line Designs, the San Ramon, Calif.-based designer and import manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture, will adorn Busch's No. 18 KBM Toyota Tundra this week at Charlotte. And if the past is any indication, Busch and Z-Line should be quite successful.
Since the 2008 Nationwide Series season, Busch and Z-Line Designs have combined for one points championship (2009), 11 victories and 19 top-three finishes. And, given Busch's success in the Truck Series at Charlotte - two wins, one pole and no finish worse than 11th in five starts - the Busch/KBM/Z-Line Designs combination could prove to be very difficult to beat.
Malsam, driver of the No. 56 Toyota Tundra for KBM, will make his second start at Charlotte after posting an impressive finish in his debut race in 2009. After starting 12th, Malsam completed all 134 laps in the 2009 event and brought home a then-career-best eighth-place finish at the track nicknamed "The Beast of the Southeast."
Friday night, he'll look to score his first career Truck Series victory after already posting an impressive 10 top-10 finishes in just 33 career starts.
Both drivers will also look to add to their championship point totals following the Charlotte event. While Busch is not running the full Truck Series schedule, the No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title and holds a two-point lead over the No. 51 truck of Billy Ballew Motorsports. Brian Ickler is driving the events in which Busch does not compete.
Malsam is competing in all 25 races and is 13th in points, 246 markers behind series leader Aric Almirola.
For a good cause: Busch has invited some of America's top professional radio-control racers to join him for the inaugural Rowdy R/C All-Stars presented by NOS Energy Drink event that will be held as part of the Taylor's Finish Line Festival on Sunday, May 23, on the grounds of zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Taylor's Finish Line Festival, created by J.D. and Melissa Gibbs, is a family friendly event to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.
The Gibbs' family was greatly affected three years ago when J.D. and Melissa's youngest son, Taylor, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Fortunately, Taylor is currently in remission and the festival will celebrate the completion of his three-year chemotherapy treatment. Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with Joe Gibbs Racing's sponsors, partners, and friends in the community, will assist the Gibbs family to host the event on the grounds of the zMax Dragway on the Sunday afternoon following the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race. Gates will open at 2:30 p.m. EDT. For more information go to www.finishlinefestival.com.
Kyle Busch, Driver, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
What are your overall thoughts on Charlotte, including Z-Line Designs sponsoring your truck and your past battles with Ron Hornaday?
"It's a great racetrack for me. I really like running at Charlotte. It's my favorite. The best we can do is go out there and try to prepare a great racetruck. I'm sure we'll be fast. I look forward to it. We've got Z-Line Designs on the truck, so Jim (Sexton, president and CEO of Z-Line) will be excited if we can get them a win in the trucks. I'm excited. Battling (Ron) Hornaday will be good, but there are some other trucks out there we're going to have to battle - the (No.) 2 truck (Harvick), of course, the (No.) 17 (Timothy Peters) and the (No.) 5 (Mike Skinner)."
Charlotte seems to be a track where young drivers, like your teammate Tayler Malsam, have had success in their debuts. Why do you think that is?
"You can really hustle that racetrack. You can really charge hard and push. The trucks are so fun to drive. They let you get away with a lot more than you should, sometimes. For the rookies, you can run the thing a little looser or tighter. There seems to be a bigger sweet spot."
Tayler Malsam, Driver, No. 56 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Is Charlotte one of the most important races of the year because it's a home race for the teams?
"It's not home for me - so, no. Honestly, though, I don't really consider any race to be more important than any other unless you are running for the championship and it's come down to the last race. Charlotte's a lot of fun, though. I like the racetrack. I like night racing there with the bright yellow walls. It's really cool. Any mile-and-a-half is about the same for me."
Talk about what it takes to be fast at Charlotte.
"A good truck, a really fast truck. I know we'll bring a really good truck there, just like we have been doing every weekend. You've got to be able to run anywhere there."