Chicagoland: Kyle Busch preview

KYLE BUSCH Looking for Second Win in 'Second City' MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 25, 2010) - Normally, the word "second" is not something Kyle Busch wants to hear. However, "second" is the word of the week as Busch, driver of the No. 18 Traxxas ...

Looking for Second Win in 'Second City'

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 25, 2010) - Normally, the word "second" is not something Kyle Busch wants to hear.

However, "second" is the word of the week as Busch, driver of the No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) heads to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., for the 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

Chicago is nicknamed "Second City" and Busch will look for his second consecutive Truck Series win at Chicagoland Speedway and his second straight Truck Series win in 2010 as he took the checkered flag in last week's O'Reilly 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

The Toyota that Busch will drive at Chicagoland will sport the logo of Traxxas, the leading manufacturer of hobby-class radio-controlled (R/C) vehicles. The company will also sponsor the No. 18 Oct. 30 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, and at the Nov. 19 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway - with driver-owner Busch behind the wheel for each event.

Busch's win in last week's Truck Series race at Bristol was part of a historic weekend as he scored a hat trick by also winning Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event and Friday's Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the .533-mile concrete oval. The trifecta made him the first driver in NASCAR history to win in all three divisions in the same weekend.

The Las Vegas native, who has family ties to the Chicagoland area, has also scored the hat trick at Chicagoland Speedway, although the wins occurred in different years. In addition to his 2009 Truck Series victory at the 1.5-mile oval, Busch won Nationwide Series races in July 2008 and July 2010 and won the Sprint Cup event in July 2008.

There is no hotter driver in NASCAR right now and Busch would love nothing more than to add another win to his current total of 78 victories in NASCAR's top-three divisions (Sprint Cup - 19, Nationwide - 40, Camping World Truck - 19).

A victory would also help in the championship chase as, 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 Bristol moved the team up one position to second in the standings, 68 points behind the first-place No. 30 truck of Germain Racing.

Kyle Busch, Driver, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:

Overall thoughts about Chicagoland?

"Chicago is always fun because my parents are from that area and so are my fiancee's (Samantha) parents. It has a lot of history and family ties. I like going to Chicago. I have won the Cup race there, a Nationwide race and last year's Truck race. I am looking forward to going there and defending last year's win the win in my own truck. I think we have a good shot and, with a new sponsor on board in Traxxas, we have a good chance at winning and making it four in a row."

What are the keys to having a fast truck at Chicagoland?

"Being able to run that place wide open - you can leave the throttle peddle down all the way around. If you have a fast truck and a good-handling truck, it is whoever can do that the longest. Typically, you can run three of four laps wide open. If you can do it longer than that, then you will be the truck to beat."

Traxxas announced its sponsorship of your No. 18 Toyota for three races this season. Talk about that.

"It's incredibly cool for me to have Traxxas as a sponsor of the No. 18 KBM Toyota at Chicagoland, Talladega and Homestead. I worked at a hobby store in Las Vegas when I was a teenager and remember selling a lot of Traxxas vehicles and equipment. I've used the vehicles throughout my life because R/C cars have always been a huge passion of mine. Traxxas' reputation is second-to-none, and it's an honor for me to have the company as a partner with Kyle Busch Motorsports."

Talk about your participation in the Aug. 25 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL race on the half-mile dirt oval at Route 66 Raceway.

"I've always wanted to try out one of the Traxxas TORC Series trucks, so being able to race one at Chicago is going to be a lot of fun. Racing an off-road truck has been on my list of vehicles I wanted to try out before my racing career was over, so I have to thank Traxxas for giving me a chance to race one of these short-course trucks for the first time. It's the perfect way to help kick off the new partnership with Traxxas and KBM."

Eric Phillips, Crew Chief, No. 18 Traxxas Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:

How important of a race is Chicagoland, given that Kyle has family ties to the area, and his fiancee Samantha is from northwest Indiana?

"I think it's a race that, early on, we circled as one we wanted to win, especially after we knew Kyle was driving. I know it's a big deal to both Kyle and Sam, especially with her family being from that area. We've got three of the guys on the race team who are from that area, too. I think it's one we circled that we want to try to win. And Kyle won it last year."

Does the fact that Kyle won last year put more pressure on this team?

"I don't think so. We put the pressure on ourselves to try to win. With Sam being from there, and Kyle's new family, and the fact that I grew up two hours from there, I haven't won there yet. I think it's important to all of us that we try to win up there."

What are the keys to having a fast truck at Chicagoland?

"Just being able to run wide open with the truck is the biggest thing, in my opinion. It's just working on your setups. You want to stay wide open for a long time where you don't have to start lifting during a run is a big part of being successful there. It's basically wide open there, anyway, but you don't have quite the banking that you have at Charlotte or Atlanta to hold the truck, so you've really got to work on your balance so that you can stay wide open through a whole run."

What makes Kyle so good as a driver?

"He knows what he wants. He knows what he needs the truck to do to be able to be fast. With younger drivers, that's something you struggle with. We've struggled with Brian (Ickler) a little bit, just knowing in practice what he needs to make the truck fast for the race. And Kyle has a pretty good handle on what he needs the truck to do in practice so that he's fast in the race. I think everybody believes he just drives them loose and fast all the time, and I don't think that's the key with him. After working with him, I've learned that his knowledge of the truck is just really impressive and that's what makes the difference with him."

Kyle Busch's Traxxas Toyota Tundra:

Chassis No. KBM-004: This truck made its first start in May at Charlotte (N.C) Motor Speedway, where KBM driver-owner Kyle Busch started from pole and led 69 of 134 laps en route to victory in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Its only other start came in July at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway with Kasey Kahne driving. Kahne started second and led 17 of 55 laps before finishing second to Elliott Sadler.

-source: KBM

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Elliott Sadler , Kyle Busch
Teams Germain Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports