Fontana II: Kyle Busch preview

KYLE BUSCH Z-Line Looking for a 'Four-Peat' at Fontana HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2009) -- Everyone enjoys a home-field advantage. The Boston Red Sox are tough to beat at Fenway Park. It's quite a challenge to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers...

KYLE BUSCH

Z-Line Looking for a 'Four-Peat' at Fontana

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 6, 2009) -- Everyone enjoys a home-field advantage.

The Boston Red Sox are tough to beat at Fenway Park. It's quite a challenge to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. And the University of Southern California football team is 43-1 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since the 2002 season.

Along those same lines, Z-Line Designs is 3-1 as a sponsor in NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based designer and import manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture has gone to victory lane in the last three Nationwide Series races at the 2-mile oval-- in February 2008 with former Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Tony Stewart, and in September 2008 and February 2009 with Kyle Busch.

And all three victories came in dominating fashion.

Stewart led 136 of 150 laps in the February 2008 race, while Busch led 144 of 150 laps in the August 2008 race and then obliterated the field again in February 2009 by leading 143 of 150 laps en route to victory. All told, Z-Line Designs was out in front for 423 of a possible 450 laps (94 percent) at the track located in the company's home state of California.

Busch again will pilot the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday's Copart 300 Nationwide Series race at Fontana and will do so in a car that has a 5-1 record in its last six outings.

Chassis No. 1861 scored five consecutive victories (August 2008 at Fontana with Busch, September 2008 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City with Denny Hamlin, November 2008 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth with Busch, February 2009 at Fontana with Busch and April 2009 at Texas with Busch). The lone defeat for the car came when Busch finished second to teammate Joey Logano in the June race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

The Copart 300 will be round 30 of 35 in Busch's quest for his first Nationwide Series title. The 24-year-old Las Vegas native owns a commanding 245-point lead over his nearest competitor, Carl Edwards. Busch has scored six wins, 10 runner-up and 25 top-10 finishes in 29 starts thus far.

He has led 2,226 laps this season in Nationwide competition, which is a new single-season series record. By leading 173 laps last week in the Kansas Nationwide Series race, Busch broke the previous all-time single-season series record of 2,127 set by Sam Ard in 1984. Busch and Ard are the only two drivers to surpass 2,000 laps led in a season in Nationwide Series history.

Can Busch get Z-Line victory number four at Fontana? If its record is any indication, Z-Line definitely has a "home track" advantage.

***

Check Presentation: Just before Saturday's race, Jim Sexton (president and CEO of Z-Line Designs) and his wife, Monica, will present a check along with Kyle Busch to Racing for Kids for winning the "Z-Line Charity Battle" at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway last month. Busch's No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry carried the logo of Racing for Kids, while his JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin, drove the No. 20 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry which featured the logo of Operation Helmet.

Because Busch finished third and Hamlin finished 17th, Racing for Kids will receive $20,000 from the $30,000 "pot" which was contributed to by JGR and Z-Line officials. Operation Helmet will receive $10,000.

Kyle Busch, No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry

How important is this race to Z-Line Designs?

"It's very important. Fontana is a big race for Z-Line Designs since it is a California-based company. Jim Sexton (president and CEO of Z-Line) and his wife Monica are such big supporters of me and the whole Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide program. We've had a lot of success at Fontana in the last couple of years and we'd obviously like to get another victory for ourselves and for Z-Line."

You have a commanding lead in the Nationwide Series championship point standings. What would a Nationwide Series championship mean to you?

"It would be big. It'd be my first NASCAR championship, so of course it would mean a lot to me. I haven't won a championship since 1999 when I was racing Legends cars. It's big to win any NASCAR championship, no matter what division it is."

Can Carl Edwards catch you, despite being 245 points behind you?

"For sure. Anything can happen. We finished 17th twice this year due to tires going down in the last three laps of a race, so we know it's possible and, hopefully, we can keep the luck on our side and come out in the last few races and run strong and try to win a couple and be there in the top-five every week."

-credit: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tony Stewart , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing