KYLE BUSCH Z-Line Designs Team Heads to Bristol HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2008) -- Kyle Busch and the Z-Line Designs team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Friday night's Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Busch, who ...
Z-Line Designs Team Heads to Bristol
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2008) -- Kyle Busch and the Z-Line Designs team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Friday night's Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Busch, who drives the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), will work for the first time with veteran JGR crew chief Doug Hewitt, who takes over for Jason Ratcliff this weekend in an interim role.
The fact that Busch and Hewitt have never worked together on a race weekend won't matter much to Busch. Even though he's worked with six different crew chiefs this season alone in NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series competition, he's scored a record 16 wins, including two in the Truck Series wins, six in the Nationwide Series and eight in Sprint Cup.
Translation: Busch's superb driving talent, coupled with his ability to provide thorough feedback, no matter who his crew chief might be, has allowed him to contend for victories week in and week out.
In addition, Bristol has always been good to Busch. In seven Sprint Cup starts at the high-banked, .533-mile concrete oval, he has one win (April 2007) and four top-10 finishes. And in eight Nationwide Series starts at the track, he has one win (April 2006) and five top-five finishes. In all three of his Craftsman Truck Series starts at Bristol, he has never finished outside of the top-15.
While it will be a new crew chief for Busch, odds are it will be business as usual for him and the Z-Line Designs team this weekend.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Bristol
You'll be working with a new crew chief in the Nationwide Series race at Bristol after already working with at least six crew chiefs, combined, this season in Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Craftsman Trucks. How do you adapt to new people so quickly?
"You never know how quick you're going to click with a crew chief. Fortunately for me, I've been able to do that with a lot of crew chiefs that I've worked with over the years. I've had pretty much a different crew chief in every series and every single year of my racing career. For the last 10 years -- really since I was 13 -- I've had at least 10 different crew chiefs. And in certain years it's been three or four different crew chiefs. I've worked with a lot of different people, but I've always been able to adapt since I've run in so many different series with different crew chiefs."
What is the perfect balance for a race at Bristol?
"I think the perfect balance would be some good green flag racing with a couple of green flag stops, and yet still having some wrecks. With the racing that we have there -- it's pretty good racing there, now, with the three lanes. But you don't see as much beating and banging for the one groove that we all had to fight for before because we can go anywhere, now. It's good racing, but there's less contact and more room to maneuver around, although you might see a little more of the bump-and-run stuff in the Nationwide Series cars as opposed to the Cup cars. I think the fans have their different opinions and you're never going to be able to please everybody."
With the Nationwide Series not having a Chase, do guys go a little bit harder in the night race at Bristol because they aren't walking as much of tightrope in the point standings?
"It's different for the Nationwide Series and the Cup Series, for sure, since the race there last August was pretty wild for the Nationwide guys and myself. Last year, everybody went all out and it was fun and entertaining for the fans. With the track being a three-groove race track, there's a lot more room for everybody. But it's still Bristol and it's going to be exciting."
Doug Hewitt, Interim Crew Chief of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Bristol
What are you thoughts on being the crew chief for Kyle Busch and the No. 18 team for Friday night's Sharpie 250 at Bristol?
"It's been a while since I've been in the crew chief role, but I really look forward to working with Kyle Busch this weekend at Bristol. Any crew chief would jump at the opportunity to work with a driver as talented as Kyle, and I'm no different. My goal is to work with everyone at JGR to continue our successful Nationwide Series season."
Chassis No. 1882: This is a brand new chassis and body that will make its race debut Friday night in the Food City 250 at Bristol.