Kurt Busch prepared for his 1st Nationwide start at Darlington

Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM)

Hoping First NNS Battle Against the 'Lady in Black' is a Charm

Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota
Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 8, 2012) - Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and recent winner with the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) team, will make his third start behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry this weekend at the famed Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

In Busch's last start for younger brother Kyle's team, two weeks ago at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), he recorded KBM's historic first Nationwide Series win while making his first series start at the 0.75-mile track. Similar to the historic Richmond victory, a win this weekend at Darlington would register as the fourth time in his NNS career that Busch accomplished a victory from his first series start at a venue. In addition to winning his first NNS start at RIR two weeks ago, he previously accomplished wins in his series debuts at Texas Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International, both in 2006.

While the Las Vegas native has never started a Nationwide Series race at the 'Lady in Black,' he has prior success on the 1.366-mile oval. Busch captured a Sprint Cup Series pole at the South Carolina-based short track in 2003 and in over 15 starts in NASCAR's premier series has also accomplished two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

Upon experiencing the thrill of victory with Kurt, and a close second-place finish by team owner Kyle Busch in this past weekend's Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway Nationwide race, the team is positioned for another strong week. Still considered a new team in the Nationwide Series, the determined KBM group has registered three top-10 starts, including both of Kurt's starts, and three top-10 finishes across eight races. Expectations among team, sponsor and industry remain high for another early-season victory.

Kurt Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:

Do you like racing at Darlington Raceway? "This is a track I don't have a win on yet, so it would be special to not only capture another first with the 54 guys, but to add a victory to my resume on this tough old track. I have a good feel for the raceway, I just haven't had the opportunity in the past to put a good, clean run together. Maybe this weekend will be my lucky break."

What are your feelings about driving the No. 54 Nationwide car, now with one win under your belt? "These past two weeks have been a lot of fun for Kyle and I, soaking in the positive feedback from race fans and from others in our sport who have congratulated us on the Richmond win. It was hard to pull off that win only seven races into the season and it says a lot about Mike (Beam, crew chief) and the team members who have worked hard to get us to this point. We still have progress to make, but I'm glad to have the opportunity to get back into that car and see if we can go win ourselves another one!

Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:

How do you feel this week going into a Darlington night race? "I'm really looking forward to Darlington this week. It has always been one of my favorite tracks. It will be one of those where you race the racetrack all night and like I say every week, if we limit our mistakes on pit road and communicate well with each other, we'll be there at the end to contend for a win. We know what it feels like now, and especially after the strong run we had in Talladega, we can't wait to taste that victory again."

You are bringing a previously-raced car to the track this week for the first time this season. How do you expect the car to run? "We are taking the car from our Fontana race earlier where we recorded our first top-10 of the season. The crew has updated this car to our latest body specifications and we have had good results from our wind tunnel test, so we expect this car to run even better the second time around."

Kurt Busch's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry:

Chassis KBM-006: KBM will unload car #006 built by and previously raced at Auto Club Speedway where Kyle Busch earned the team's first top-10 of the season with an eighth-place finish. The backup machine for this weekend's No. 54 team is one that is frequently on standby, Chassis KBM-007.

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About this article
Drivers Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch
Teams Kyle Busch Motorsports
Tags busch, kbm, toyota