Texas II: Kyle Busch preview

KYLE BUSCH Looking To Stay Outrageously Dependable at Texas MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 3, 2010) - Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) heads to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Friday night's Winstar World Casino 350K NASCAR Camping World Truck...

Looking To Stay Outrageously Dependable at Texas

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 3, 2010) - Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) heads to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Friday night's Winstar World Casino 350K NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race first in the owner's championship for the first time since May, with Dallas-based Interstate Batteries looking for its first-ever win at its home track, and with Dallas-based Internet-driven outreach ministry "I am Second" on board for the occasion.

KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch will be looking to put his No. 18 Interstate Batteries / IamSecond.com Toyota Tundra in victory lane for the second time in as many weekends after nipping fellow Toyota driver Aric Almirola by two-thousandths of a second in the closest finish in Truck Series history at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last Saturday.

Busch's sixth victory in 13 Truck Series starts this season gave the No. 18 KBM racetruck a 42-point lead over the No. 30 Germain Racing Toyota of Todd Bodine in the owner's championship with three races to go.

Winning the owner's title has been the primary goal for the first-year KBM organization as Busch, whose main responsibility is behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has had to share his KBM racetruck with three other drivers - Brian Ickler (seven races), Johnny Benson (one) and Kasey Kahne (one). That makes occupying the top spot in the owner's championship all the more remarkable for the No. 18 team, which is headed by KBM General Manager Rick Ren and crew chief Eric Phillips.

Busch will drive the No. 18 KBM Toyota at the final three Truck Series races beginning with Friday night's 350-kilometer event around the 1.5-mile high-banked Texas Motor Speedway oval. The talented 25-year-old from Las Vegas is the defending race-winner, having driven the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota to victory lane last November. For the first time this weekend, he and his racetruck will be wearing the familiar colors of Interstate Batteries, the Dallas-based company with which he has developed a close relationship as driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series Toyotas the past three seasons.

Also on board the No. 18 Toyota this weekend is "I am Second," whose Web site (www.IamSecond.com) features video testimonies of hope, inspiration and transformation by individuals from all walks of life based on their personal faith journeys. Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller is a key supporter of the project that includes participants such as American Idol contestant Jason Castro, former Korn band member Brian "Head" Welch, and Texas Rangers All-Star Josh Hamilton.

With his sights set on the 2010 owner's championship, staying ahead of Bodine and the No. 30 Toyota would be the order of the night for Busch once the green flag falls on the Winstar World Casino 350K, as well as at the season-ending events at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. (Nov. 12) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 19). Finishing first would be the ultimate way to guarantee that happens, of course. And winning the Friday night's race at Texas would certainly be cause for celebration for Interstate Batteries, which in its 19 years of sponsoring NASCAR racecars has yet to score a victory in its own backyard.

The company known for its tagline "Outrageously Dependable" will be banking on Busch's truly outrageous dependability at Texas Motor Speedway in recent years. In addition to his Truck Series win at the track last November, and top-three finishes in four of his previous five Truck Series appearances there, Busch is on a roll in the Nationwide Series, where he will be going for his sixth consecutive Texas victory on Saturday. And he's coming off a solid third-place finish in the Sprint Cup race at Texas last April.

Kyle Busch, Driver, No. 18 Interstate Batteries / IamSecond.com Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:

With your win last weekend at Talladega, and being the defending trucks winner at Texas, do you feel like KBM is in the driver's seat to win the Truck Series owner's championship?

"It's definitely not over, that's for sure. We feel comfortable with where we're at, and to win last weekend and be headed to a place we run very well at, it has everyone associated with KBM pretty excited. It's going to be cool. I think I always expect to win, but I think this season has exceeded our expectations. We couldn't do it without some of the partners that have come on board to help. Again, this weekend at Texas, I can't thank Norm Miller (Chairman, Interstate Batteries) and everyone at Interstate Batteries enough for their support. I won the Truck race there last year and it's a place I have always run well at in Trucks and Nationwide. And, lately, we've been good on the Cup side there, as well. I'm hoping we can make it seven wins this weekend and get some good exposure for Interstate and IamSecond.com. We're doing an event for I am Second in Dallas on Wednesday night and hope it brings them some exposure, since it's something that Norm is really involved in and passionate about, and it is a neat deal. We're looking forward to these last three races and it's going to be a shootout and a fight to the end."

Kyle Busch, Driver, No. 18 Interstate Batteries / IamSecond.com Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (continued):

You've had success at Texas Motor Speedway, recently. Are you getting more comfortable there each time you go back?

Interstate Batteries has never won a race at Texas. What would it mean for you to deliver the company's first win?

"It used to not be so much. I had some wild races there early on in my career and it wasn't one of my favorite places, for whatever reason. Things have gone well, recently. Obviously, the Nationwide Series wins the last couple of years and getting the win in the Truck Series last year have been real confidence boosters there. I have sort of learned how to drive it a little bit better and I know what I need in my racecar to make it easier. Finishing third or fourth in the Cup Series since coming to JGR has been a confidence-booster there. I can't seem to get that win in Cup that's eluded me, even though we've been close. So, hopefully, that's something we can change this weekend."

What do you believe are your chances of sweeping the weekend after narrowly missing it last fall at Texas?

"I would like to try and win all three again, for sure, starting with the Truck race on Friday night. I set out to do that every weekend, but that's not an easy thing to accomplish. The Nationwide race, going for six in a row, it's going to be awfully exciting. I can't think of a better place than Texas, with Eddie Gossage (president, Texas Motor Speedway) and all those guys out there who do such a great job with that facility. To get six (Nationwide Series wins) in a row at the place would be cool. Of course, maybe we can get to where we should have been last year in the fall race there and win the triple again. I felt like we had a really good car in the Cup race, too. So we had a shot there and we're definitely closing in on our first Cup win there this weekend since we've been really competitive the last couple of Cup races there."

Rick Ren, General Manager, Kyle Busch Motorsports:

Kyle's run extremely well at Texas in recent years. Can you talk about what that means for your effort there this weekend?

"He's got a lot of cowboy hats from there, so we're looking forward to it. It's going to be our first race with Interstate Batteries. We're glad to get involved with Norm (Miller, Interstate Batteries Chairman). We're going to split the truck sponsorship up between iamsecond.com and Interstate Batteries on there. I think it's going to be a really good relationship because of Interstate Batteries and their involvement with Kyle. I know the guys are pretty pumped up to go there. They didn't run as well in the spring, when Johnny Benson filled in for Kyle (and finished 10th). He did a good job, but the guys are now all pumped up and happy. Kyle's pumped up and happy, especially because he's never driven his own truck at Texas."

Interstate Batteries has never won a race at Texas. What would it mean for you to deliver the company's first win?

"That would be great. Norm's done a lot for the sport. He's been around for a long time. If we can get Interstate Batteries their first win at their home track, that would be really good. That'd be great for the relationship between Kyle and Norm. That would be awesome."

We saw a huge swing in the owner's points following Kyle's win at Talladega last weekend. What's the strategy now, going into Texas and the final stretch of races?

"I think anybody who's watched Kyle Busch for the last few years, the strategy is 'race to win.' I've been through a few of these championship runs the last four years and found that if you change what you're doing, bad things usually happen. Last year, we had a big lead, so we kind of laid low just a little bit. Right now, we don't have a big lead. You saw what happened at Talladega, we went from 39 down to a 42-point lead. That's an 81-point swing. Well, if we have a problem, it could swing right back in favor of the '30' truck (driver Todd Bodine and Germain Racing), so we have to race to win."

-source: kbm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Johnny Benson , Kasey Kahne , Brian Ickler , Kyle Busch
Teams Germain Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports