Amanda Vincent, NASCAR correspondent
Kyle Busch Motorsports' foray into NASCAR Nationwide Series competition will be a family affair in 2012, as team owner, Kyle Busch, announced on Thursday that he and older brother Kurt Busch will share driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 54 KBM Toyota. The car will be sponsored by Monster Energy.
"Kyle has done an impressive job in building this race team, and I'm proud to be a part of it," Kurt Busch said. "He won a Truck Series owner's championship in his first year, and his team has kept on winning ever since."
Kyle Busch Motorsports has had the goal to add a championship-caliber Nationwide Series team to our organization.
Kyle Busch Motorsports began competing full-time in NASCAR in 2010 by fielding the No. 18 truck full-time in the Camping World Truck Series. With the owner assuming the primary driving duties, the organization became the first in series history to win the owner's championship in its first full season of competition. In 2011, the No. 18 KBM Toyota truck finished second in owner points to the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet.
"Since debuting in NASCAR, Kyle Busch Motorsports has had the goal to add a championship-caliber Nationwide Series team to our organization," Kyle Busch said. "With today's announcement of Monster Energy as primary sponsor and my brother Kurt as the second driver, we've accomplished that goal."
Kyle Busch surpassed Mark Martin last year to become the all-time winningest driver in Nationwide Series history with 51 victories. Most of those wins came in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Busch will still drive for JGR in the Sprint Cup Series this year.
Kurt Busch, the New driver for the No. 51 Chevrolet team at Phoenix Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, has only competed sparingly at the Nationwide level, up to this point, making only 12-career starts in the series. He did score a win, though, while filling in for the injured Brad Keselowski in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge at Watkins Glen International last year.
Kyle Busch will start off the season in the car, driving it in the first five races of the year, including the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 25. After the first five events, he and his brother will share driving duties.
Mike Beam moves from Roush Fenway Racing to Kyle Busch Motorsports to call the shots as crew chief for the Busch brothers' Nationwide Series efforts in 2012. As a crew chief, Beam has 48-career starts at the Nationwide level that have produced 10 wins, 32 top-fives and 37 top-10 finishes. He was part of the No. 60 Ford team at RFR in 2011 that captured the Nationwide Series owner's title with Carl Edwards driving the car.
"I am excited to join the KBM team and to have Monster Energy as our sponsor," Beam said. "Kyle and Kurt are two of the best drivers in NASCAR. To contend for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series owner's championship with Monster Energy and to have all of the elements in place that make a great team, you cannot help being excited to be a part of this."