Kyle Busch Motorsports turns to new drivers to continue Martinsville success
One particular track where KBM has dominated is Martinsville Speedway, the home of Saturday’s Kroger 250.
In its first five seasons of existence, Kyle Busch Motorsports wasted no time climbing to the top of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The organization collected three owner’s championships, 39 wins and 18 poles.
One particular track where KBM has dominated is Martinsville Speedway, the home of Saturday’s Kroger 250 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). The Mooresville, North Carolina-based team has won one race each season at “The Paperclip” from 2011-14 through the prowess of Denny Hamlin (2011-12) and Darrell Wallace Jr (2013-14).
It’s hard to believe that Martinsville is the place where I have the most experience, because it’s probably the track that I struggle at the most as a driver,
Each of those races was in the fall though; none were won in the spring. KBM rival ThorSport has taken the last two checkered flags in the spring Martinsville showdowns (Johnny Sauter, 2013; Matt Crafton, 2014). Furthermore, Hamlin is not entered in Saturday’s Kroger 250 and Darrell Wallace Jr. has moved on to the XFINITY Series with Roush Fenway Racing – a fresh face will have to continue KBM’s streak.
Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Justin Boston all hope they will be the new smiling face in Martinsville Victory Lane.
Of the three, Jones has the only NCWTS experience at Martinsville. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner claims finishes of ninth, 18th and fourth at the .526-mile track. He is also the only member of the group with a Truck Series victory. The 18 year old boasts four wins in only 19 starts.
“It’s hard to believe that Martinsville is the place where I have the most experience, because it’s probably the track that I struggle at the most as a driver,” Jones said. “I feel like I’m still trying to figure it all out on my end, but each time out our Tundra has been faster and I’m getting better as well.”
Suarez and Boston both tested at Martinsville last week, gaining valuable seat time via the NCWTS rookie testing rule that allows first-year drivers to test on tracks they have yet to race on. Suarez claims finishes of ninth and fourth in the first two races this season, while Boston is still searching for his first top 10.
“Even though we’ve started off the season with a top five and two top-10 finishes, nothing from those two tracks will really transfer over to how we run at Martinsville,” said Jerry Baxter, Suarez’s crew chief. “What will transfer is that we have now worked together twice and continue to strengthen our relationship.”
Although he has no NASCAR appearances at Martinsville, Boston is hoping his Late Model experience at the track will help him.
“I’ve been to Martinsville before in a Late Model race in 2012, so I think that experience will definitely help,” Boston said. “It’s a tough place, and it’s definitely not easy on rookies. It takes a lot of discipline and it’s not easy. You have to race the track as much as you have to race your competitors.”
NASCAR Wire Service
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