KYLE BUSCH Drive for Five in Kentucky MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 1, 2010) -- Kyle Busch's "Drive for Five" in Friday night's Built Ford Tough 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta will have a two-part ...
Drive for Five in Kentucky
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 1, 2010) -- Kyle Busch's "Drive for Five" in Friday night's Built Ford Tough 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta will have a two-part meaning.
The driver of the No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports will look to score his fifth Truck Series win of 2010 as he has already found victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and last week at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Perhaps the more well-known half of the "Drive for Five" is Busch's quest to join Fred Lorenzen (1964), Richard Petty (1971), Bobby Allison (1971) and David Pearson (1973) as drivers who have won five consecutive NASCAR events, regardless of series.
Earlier this season, Busch reeled off four consecutive wins across NASCAR's top three series starting with a sweep of the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup events at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on May 15 and 16. It continued with his Truck Series victory at Charlotte on May 21, and was capped by his Nationwide Series win eight days later at the 1.5-mile oval on May 29.
But that four-race streak, understandably so, seemed to fly under the radar compared to the fanfare that has accompanied Busch's current victory march, for this one was launched in historic fashion two weeks ago at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where Busch became the first driver ever to win all three of NASCAR's national series races in the same weekend.
And his momentum carried straight through from Bristol to Chicagoland last Friday night with another Truck Series victory that put the talented Las Vegas native in the history books a second time alongside Billy Wade (1964), Pearson (1966 and 1968), Cale Yarborough (1976), Darrell Waltrip (1981) and Mark Martin (1993) as four-time winners in consecutive NASCAR events, regardless of series.
In his "Drive for Five," Busch will use the same chassis -- KBM-004 -- that took him to victory lane last week at Chicagoland while sporting the colors and logos of Traxxas, the leading manufacturer of hobby-class radio-controlled (R/C) vehicles. The crew at KBM is spending this week fixing up the truck from the normal wear and tear of a race weekend, while also giving it a new look as the yellow and black colors of Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General will adorn the No. 18 Toyota at Kentucky.
There is no hotter driver in NASCAR right now than Busch, and he would love nothing more than to add another win to his current total of 79 career victories in NASCAR's top three divisions -- Sprint Cup (19), Nationwide (40) and Camping World Truck (20).
One of those victories came in the June 2004 Nationwide Series race at Kentucky, when Busch started second and led just three laps en route to victory. In four Nationwide Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Busch has that 2004 win, one runner-up finish (2009) and has never started worse than ninth while leading 311 of 800 possible laps. He has only one Truck Series start at Kentucky -- a sixth-place result in 2008 -- and he won in his only ARCA start at the 1.5-mile oval in May 2003.
As historic as a fifth victory would be, it would also help in the championship chase, as well, for while Busch is not running the full Camping World Truck Series schedule, the No. 18 Toyota is competing for the owner's title, and his win last week in Chicagoland kept the team second in the standings, just 48 points behind the first-place No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.
Kyle Busch, Driver, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Why have you decided to run the Camping World Truck Series race in Kentucky?
"The schedule kind of allows it since you don't have anything on track in Atlanta until Saturday and Sunday. Thursday and Friday, I was open and decided that I might as well go run it myself. Plus, we were able to secure sponsorship from Dollar General. Hopefully, we'll have a good, solid run and try to win that thing."
Was it satisfying to keep the momentum going last week at Chicagoland after sweeping three races at Bristol?
"It certainly was. Especially with my own team. It's great to go out and win in your own equipment. It just makes you feel a little bit better. The hard work and the blood, sweat and tears you pour into it with all of your guys. And how much dedication they have for myself and for this race team. We're really looking hard at next year at what we're doing and trying to sell some sponsorship for that, in order to keep this program continuing. I feel like these guys are really, really good at what they do. They deserve to be here and to race in this series. For myself to carry the momentum from Bristol means a lot, but now we'd like to carry it on into this week going to Kentucky. We know that will be a tough race for us. (Ron) Hornaday (Jr.) is really, really strong there. I know (Mike) Skinner has been fast there before with Eric (Phillips) being his crew chief. I'm sure (Todd) Bodine will be tough to beat. It should be fun and, hopefully, we can go for five in a row before we head to Atlanta."
Rick Ren, Director of Competition and General Manager for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
How big of a win was it for KBM at Chicagoland, given that Kyle has family ties to the area, and his fiancee Samantha is from northwest Indiana, and you and Eric Phillips are from Illinois?
"It was an awesome night. I think of all the races I've been fortunate enough to win and I've never won one in my home state. I've won at Gateway (International Raceway in Madison, Ill.), but I always considered that to be pretty much in St. Louis. So, to win a race like we did at Chicagoland was pretty special. Samantha's parents were there. We had some crew members from Wisconsin and Illinois who had their family and friends there, and Eric's from Illinois, so I know it was big for him. It's interesting -- we led a lot of laps if you look at the stats, but it's not like we sat on the pole and walked away with it. Kyle had to fight his way to the front two or three times and we had a great battle with (Todd) Bodine. The green-white-checker finish made it exciting, too. It's like I've always said, we always have drama in the Truck Series."
Talk about the decision to bring Chassis No. KBM-004 to Kentucky after using it at Chicagoland Speedway last week and the work that goes into getting the truck ready in less than a week.
"That's the newest 1.5-mile truck that we have and we feel it is the best horse in the stable. It's got two wins and a second, so it has a good history. It might not qualify great, even though it won the pole at Charlotte, but it races really, really well. As far as getting the truck ready in just one week, there is a lot of work to do. After the race, we discovered some debris in front of the truck. It looks like one of the competitors lost a bed window and parts of it ended up in our nose when it hit the truck. We've also got to switch out paint schemes on it, going from Traxxas to Dollar General. So, there is quite a bit of work involved for all the guys. But coming off a win, no one seems to mind."
What are the keys to having a fast truck at Kentucky?
"We'll go there with the same package as Chicago with a minor change for Kentucky, since there are differences in the two tracks. Can we get the pole? I don't know, but we'll have a good racetruck. The key is getting through turns one and two smoothly. You have to have a good shock package and, if you can get around those bumps without problems, you'll have a good night."