Kyle Busch trying to coral an owner's championship

"How rewarding is it to have gone from a team running a limited schedule to now be competing for an owner's championship?"

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 29, 2013) - As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for race No. 20 on the 22-race schedule this season, owner-driver Kyle Busch will be back behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra. With just three races remaining, the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team has slowly but surely climbed back into contention for the 2013 Truck Series owner's championship and currently finds themselves just 15 points behind the series leading No. 88 team.

Race winner Kyle Busch
Race winner Kyle Busch

Photo by: Getty Images

The No. 88 team left Pocono (Pa.) Raceway eight races ago 53 points ahead of KBM's No. 51 entry, who at that time stood third in the championship battle. Over the last eight races, crew chief Rudy Fugle and his Toyota Racing team have reeled off seven top-10 finishes with four different drivers behind the wheel. Busch has led the charge collecting two of his four victories during that span, winning at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., and adding a runner-up finish at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Rookie Chad Hackenbracht earned the team a runner-up finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, while Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin have each contributed a top-10 finish.

Busch has nine career victories at "The Great American Speedway," including two in the Truck Series (2009 and 2010). Another victory Friday night is just what the No. 51 ToyotaCare team needs to keep lassoing in the No. 88 team in an effort to coral KBM's second Truck Series owner's championship in its four-year existence.

Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra: Talk about the job your team has done to climb back into the owner's championship. "It's taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people at Kyle Busch Motorsports and the support we get from Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development). When we started off the season, the No. 51 team was just a handful of guys because we were only scheduled to run about 10 races. Throughout the course of the season, we were able to bring Erik Jones and Chad Hackenbracht onboard and they've both done a nice job with their limited schedules as rookies. It's really tough being a rookie in the Truck Series, especially when you're running a limited schedule that is scattered throughout the season and you only get behind the wheel once a month. It's really hard to get in a rhythm that way, but both of those guys were able to get us a runner-up finish -- Erik at Iowa and Chad up in Canada -- and are a big part of us being able get to where we are now -- being within striking distance with three races to go. Denny had a really strong truck last week and I think it would've been him and Darrell (Wallace Jr.) battling for the win at the end if it wasn't for Denny getting spun. In the end though, Denny battled back and gained us a lot of points after the 88 team had their troubles. We still got a ways to go -- I think we are somewhere around 15 points out of it -- we just need to go out and have three strong runs to finish the season out."

Talk about the job crew chief Rudy Fugle had done this year. "Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) has done a really nice job in his first year as a crew chief for us. It's always challenge for a crew chief to have to work with a bunch of different drivers throughout a 22-race season -- all drivers are not the same and don't like the same feel and having a couple young guys behind the wheel sometimes they don't even know what feel they are looking for. Rudy been able to make sure that no matter who is behind the wheel we seem to always have strong runs and be competing for wins each and every week."

Rudy Fugle, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS ToyotaCare Tundra: How rewarding is it to have gone from a team running a limited schedule to now be competing for an owner's championship? "It really hasn't set in yet -- we've been working hard all year to build this thing from about three guys in January to a full team as we added races along the way. We all knew what we were getting into and we've all built this team together and when you stop and look back at it, it's something we can all take pride in. Now, we've got to go out these last three races make sure we do our job, pay attention to all the details and give it everything we have to try and win this thing."

KBM

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Denny Hamlin , Chad Hackenbracht , Kyle Busch , Erik Jones
Teams Toyota Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports
Article type Preview
Tags busch, ncwts, texas, toyota