At the spring event on the .75-mile oval, KBM recorded its first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory in just its seventh series start. Kurt Busch gave the crowd a thrill, winning a hard-fought, side-by-side battle with Denny Hamlin. Hamlin, who erased a two-second margin over the final 20 laps of the spring event, was unable to complete a last-lap pass on his Sprint Cup Series teammate's older brother before the two drivers reached the start-finish line.
The 0.062 margin of victory was the smallest winning margin in RIR history. Not only did Busch accomplish a win for himself in his first start in a Nationwide Series car at RIR, and on a short track, but he also helped his brother's No. 54 Monster Energy team reach their first company win as Nationwide Series competitors. Coincidentally, the joyous win was celebrated on the 10th Anniversary of team primary sponsor Monster Energy, also experiencing their first victory in the NASCAR arena.
The Mooresville-based crew experienced another first this past week at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, when owner-driver Kyle Busch captured the team's first career pole. That positive momentum will be carried into Richmond this Friday, as the older Busch brother returns to the site where he and his younger brother's team celebrated joy and initial success, hoping to add to that team resume.
Kurt Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
How will it feel to return to the site of your first victory with your brother, and for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NNS? "That was a special night, I realize now especially since it has been so hard to achieve again. I think we, as a group, anticipated there would be a few more wins like it, but the cards haven't played out that way. It makes me appreciate the April win even more. I'm glad I had the chance to be a part of the first Nationwide Series victory for KBM and give my brother that owner's win. I still think we can do it, and I look forward to being around these guys again. It's been a few weeks since we have worked together. I know Mike (Beam, crew chief) and these crew guys are hungry for it again, so hopefully I can be a part of it twice - another victory would be sweet!"
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
Considering the April win, does it give you more confidence going into this week's return to Richmond? "We are going to take #009 to Richmond again, the same car that we had in the spring with the victory. Hopefully, we can repeat the results from the first race and win again. We are at race 13 of this brutal 16-race stretch and as a team, we need to be better and pay more attention to details. Hopefully at Richmond, we can get back on track. It will be fun to have Kurt in the car again, as we know each week with Kyle and Kurt, the driver will not be the problem...you know those guys always bring their best game."
Chassis KBM-009: KBM will unload car #009, first raced at RIR in April when Kurt Busch achieved the KBM team's first Nationwide Series victory. The car then raced at Iowa Speedway in Newton, then Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway and again at the Iowa Speedway for fifth, 22nd and 17th- place finishes respectively. The backup machine is Chassis KBM-007, regularly traveled as a second team car.
Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports