KYLE BUSCH Looking for Luck in the Irish Hills MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 9, 2010) -- Kyle Busch has never started worse than sixth or finished lower than seventh in four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Michigan International Speedway...
Looking for Luck in the Irish Hills
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 9, 2010) -- Kyle Busch has never started worse than sixth or finished lower than seventh in four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
Unfortunately, Busch has yet to find victory lane at the 2-mile oval located in the scenic Irish Hills region of southern Michigan. He'll look to change that in Saturday's VFW 200 Truck Series event at Michigan when he pilots the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for his own team, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
Three times (2005, 2007 and 2009), Busch has finished in the runner-up spot, and he's led a total of 117 laps of 400 available to him in the four events he has run.
While Busch has not been victorious at Michigan, his crew chief Eric Phillips has won at the 2-mile oval twice in his career, including a historic victory six years ago. While serving as crew chief for Travis Kvapil, Phillips helped guide Toyota to its first victory in NASCAR competition by winning the Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 on July 31, 2004.
Since then, the manufacturer has gone on to win several races in all three of NASCAR's top three divisions and has become an important part of Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch would love nothing more than to score a Truck Series owner championship, not only for himself but for Toyota, as well.
The No. 18 Toyota, which has been driven by Busch, Johnny Benson and Brian Ickler thus far in 2010, is second in the owner standings, just 12 points behind the No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.
This week at Michigan, Busch will look to retake the points lead -- and also finally score the long-awaited victory in the Irish Hills.
Kyle Busch, Driver-Owner, No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
What are your overall thoughts on heading to Michigan International Speedway?
"It's just a fun place to race. The Truck Series puts on a great show a lot of places, so Michigan should be a lot of fun. Its wide-open racing and you can run from top to bottom. The biggest thing is just trying to get grip there. Some guys are able to get it, other guys can't. You can get it for maybe five laps, and then you're just out to lunch. The biggest thing is, just trying to make your car comfortable and make it last throughout a whole tire run and, of course, make it fast, too. And the wide racetrack is good. That's what makes Michigan so exciting and so fun. That's the biggest deal about it. For me, coming to Michigan, I tend to run well there, for whatever reason, and the biggest deal is trying to finish, and finish up front."
You are a big fan of the University of Michigan. How did you become a fan?
"My brother moved up to Michigan years ago to run in the (Camping World) Truck Series and he went to a Michigan game. He bought me a Michigan sweatshirt and sent it home for me. I never really paid attention to college football until then, but I became a Michigan fan. It's not too complicated of a story, but it's fun to be able to follow them when I have a Saturday afternoon off in the fall. I was lucky enough to be able to go to their practice before and get to know a few of the guys. I've met Coach (John) Beilein (University of Michigan men's basketball head coach) and his family a couple of times, and they're a lot of fun to talk to. You always respect people who are as competitive as you are, and they certainly have the same drive to win that I do."
Eric Phillips, Crew Chief, No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Do you like racing at Michigan?
"I'm excited about getting back to Michigan. We're taking the truck Kyle (Busch) won with at Nashville. Michigan has usually been a really good racetrack for Kyle. I've won there twice as a crew chief, so I'm excited about it. We got Toyota's first win there back in 2004 (as crew chief for Travis Kvapil). We're just looking forward to it, and getting back to victory lane next week."
Kyle Busch's Toyota Tundra
Chassis No. KBM-002: This truck was used by KBM driver-owner Kyle Busch in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he started second and finished second after leading 15 laps. Busch then drove the truck to victory in the April 2 Nashville 200 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. After starting on the pole, Busch led 131 of 150 laps en route to the first victory for KBM.