Chicagoland: Series round 17 preview

Busch Gunning For Fourth Straight National Series Victory For Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota Tundra/Traxxas Toyota), victories, like grapes, come in bunches. Last week's O'Reilly 200 win opened an unprecedented NASCAR national series weekend sweep...

Busch Gunning For Fourth Straight National Series Victory

For Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota Tundra/Traxxas Toyota), victories, like grapes, come in bunches.

Last week's O'Reilly 200 win opened an unprecedented NASCAR national series weekend sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway where Busch added a third consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at the .522-mile concrete oval.

Bristol, however, is in Busch's rearview mirror. Next up is Friday night's 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. Surprise: Busch is the defending winner at the 1.5-mile track located a few miles southwest of Chicago in Joliet.

The 2009 race was win No. 2 of five for Busch in consecutive appearances that included Bristol, Chicagoland, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

Busch, in relatively short order, has vaulted to fifth on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series all-time victory list. He's won 19 times in 77 starts, or roughly one victory for every four times Busch has taken the green flag. His winning percentage - .247 - tops those of the series' four most prolific winners: Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Chevrolet), Mike Skinner (No. 5 International Trucks/Monaco RV Toyota), Jack Sprague and Todd Bodine (No. 30 Toyota).

"Chicago is always fun because my parents are from that area and so are my fiancee's parents. It has a lot of history and family ties," said Busch, a winner at Chicagoland in all three NASCAR national series. "I think we think we have a good shot and with a new sponsor on board (Traxxas RC cars), we have a good chance at winning and making it four (national series wins) in a row."

Bodine and Hornaday are sure to give Busch all the competition he can handle. Bodine, who collected his 20th series victory (and third of the season) Aug. 14 at Darlington Raceway, leads all drivers on 1.5-mile tracks, with 11 wins.

Bodine, the current NCWTS championship leader, finished second to Busch at Chicagoland Speedway a year ago.

"We had a really good truck last year. We got beat on a restart," said Bodine.

Hornaday, a 46-time winner, is closest to sweeping the eight 1.5-mile tracks on the current schedule. A victory at Chicagoland would leave just Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which the series visits next month, on Hornaday's 1.5-mile "to do" list.

"Last year we had a pretty good set up for the race but got caught on a round of pit stops," said Hornaday, who led two laps before finishing 11th.

Likewise, Johnny Sauter (No. 13 Curb Records Chevrolet) figures to be among contenders. Sauter finished fifth in last year's Chicagoland race and edged Hornaday in a slam-bang finish earlier this season at Kansas Speedway, a similar layout.

Current championship runner-up Aric Almirola will attempt to guide Billy Ballew Motorsports' No. 51 Zyclara/Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota back to Victory Lane. Almirola is driving Busch's 2009 Chicagoland-winning truck.

Friday's race is the eighth consecutive race in as many weeks. The nine-race swing ends Sept. 3 at Kentucky Speedway.

Wayne's Words: Windy City Bound For Friday Night Showdown

"We're almost there - the finish of our nine-week tour that began in Iowa last month and concludes Labor Day weekend at Kentucky Speedway. It's been a busy summer but a good one. The racing has been excellent; enthusiasm is high both in the garage and the grandstands.

"Last year we made our first trip to Chicagoland Speedway, returning to the Windy City for the first time in nearly a decade. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was welcomed with open arms. Many of our teams had previously used the track for testing so most of the drivers weren't really rookies.

"The series may have been born on the West Coast but it's been embraced, especially by Midwest fans. We're pleased to be able to give the Chicago area fans one more dose of NASCAR excitement before fall arrives and the leaves begin to fall.

"Kyle Busch won our inaugural event last year. That, along with his sweep at Bristol, makes Kyle the driver to beat this week. He's accomplished a lot in 2010 but not all of it has been the driver. Kyle Busch Motorsports is a first-year team. General Manager Rick Ren, crew chief Eric Phillips and all of the KBM employees have performed at a level rarely seen in what amounts to a rookie operation.

"Chicagoland is unlike most of the other 1.5-mile tracks on which we race. It's basically a D-shaped oval but with a twist: the backstretch isn't straight. The truck continues its arc when leaving Turn 2 - something like the backstretch at Phoenix.

"Pit stops will be crucial if they come under green flag conditions. Entering pit road can be tricky. The driver definitely has to watch his speed.

"The 2011 schedule was released last week and next year's visit to Chicagoland Speedway will have a new look. We look forward to returning next September as the kick-off event for a tripleheader featuring trucks, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series." - Wayne Auton, Series Director

Little League World Series Brings Back Memories For Dillon

The 64th Little League World Series is currently underway in South Williamsport, Pa. At first glance, you might wonder what it has to do with racing - just ask Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet). Unlike most drivers who spent their summers growing up solely focused on racing, Dillon enjoyed playing baseball and was actually very good at it.

The summer of 2002 Dillon was a member of the Southeast Region Champions team of Forsyth County, N.C., and earned a spot in the Little League World Series.

"I'm glad I got to do fun stuff like baseball and basketball growing up. Racing, of course, is my favorite sport, and I'll always try to be in it somehow, but I think I learned valuable lessons while competing in the Little League World Series."

His team didn't win. In fact, they finished the World Series Tournament 0-3. Dillon compares his Little League experience to racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

"Our baseball team was together for so long that I learned how to be when you're with a team. You've got to give and take with each of the players," Dillon said. "I use those teamwork skills today. To win a race of any kind at the NASCAR level, you have to have a great team. It can come down to a lugnut or hang tire that loses you or wins you the race. That's one of the things we've done a great job of this year at RCR. We've built a team that's very confident in what they do. When they get out on the track, they're proud of the equipment that they build and proud to work at RCR."


Busch Takes The Concrete Lead

Kyle Busch's NCWTS win at Bristol Motor Speedway was his fifth concrete win in the series; breaking a tie for first with Ron Hornaday Jr. They remain the only drivers with victories at all three concrete tracks - Bristol, Dover and Nashville. Busch did become the first driver to win three races on a single concrete surface.

Illinois Based Sponsors For RMM

The windy city is home to two Randy Moss Motorsports sponsors. Mike Skinner"s (No. 5 International Truck/Monaco RVs Toyota) sponsors, International Truck and Monaco RV, are two of the 10 brands that compose the portfolio of Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar Corporation. Skinner finished 13th in last year's 225.

Cobb, Starr Make Trip To Louisville

Jennifer Jo Cobb (No. 10 Ford) and David Starr (No. 81 RMM Toyota) will spend Tuesday at the Louisville Slugger Museum promoting next week's Built Ford Tough 225. The duo will meet with media, tour the museum and learn how the famous baseball bat is made. Tickets can be purchased at

Kyle Busch Making History In NCWTS One Race At A Time

Kyle Busch deserves each superlative heaped upon him, and none of them are even a little exaggerated.

The statistics tell all.

Busch, all of 25 years old, already has 78 victories in NASCAR national series competition. His most efficient work, though, has come in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Running race trucks, Busch has won 19 races in 77 starts - a 25% winning percentage. He has won at least one race in each of the last six seasons.

Often, he dominates. Busch has three perfect Driver Ratings in the NACAR Camping World Truck Series since the Loop Data stat's inception in 2005. His most recent one came this year at Nashville in April.

Even with the massive stack of proof, there were still questions heading into this season. The reason: he was now a driver-owner. Busch launched Kyle Busch Motorsports this year, after spending most of his truck career with Billy Ballew Motorsports.

The growing pains have been few, if existing at all. Through 16 races this season - eight of which Busch has run - he has three wins and six top fives. His average finish is 6.0 and his Driver Rating is 125.5. Dragged down by an accident in the season opener at Daytona, his numbers this year are down a bit from 2009.

Last year through 16 races (Busch ran 10 of those), he had four wins, seven top fives and nine top 10s. His average finish was 4.6 and his Driver Rating was 131.9.

Next up is the second series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Busch won the inaugural event last season, posting a near-perfect Driver Rating of 146.6 (a perfect racing is 150.0).

Up Next: Kentucky Speedway

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Kentucky Speedway for the 11th time in series history. The Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers marks the last race of the nine-week summer stretch that kicked off in July.

Last year, Ron Hornaday Jr. became the only two-time winner at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

The long list of star studded past winners include Mike Skinner, Dennis Setzer, Johnny Benson, Bobby Hamilton Sr., Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Mike Bliss and Scott Riggs.

Hornaday, Skinner and Setzer are expected to compete in the Friday night show down in the Bluegrass State.

Fast Facts

Next Race: 225
The Place: Chicagoland Speedway (1.5-Mile Tri-Oval)

The Date: Friday, August 27, 2010 The Time: 9 p.m ET
Race Distance: 150 laps / 225 miles

TV: SPEED, 8:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio (Listen locally on WSPY-FM 107.1 and WCSJ-FM 103.1.)

2009 Polesitter: Matt Crafton
2009 Winner: Kyle Busch

Schedule (All times ET):
Thursday - Practice,6 - 7 p.m.
Friday Practice, 10:30 - 11:20 a.m. Qualifying - 3:35 p.m.

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Greg Biffle , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Scott Riggs , Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Mike Bliss , Carl Edwards , Aric Almirola , Jennifer Jo Cobb , Austin Dillon , Kyle Busch
Teams Williams , Kyle Busch Motorsports