Return to Chicagoland
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2012) - Kyle Busch will make his 16th start behind the wheel of the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Toyota this week at a track where he has won twice in eight starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Busch is eager to tackle the 1.5-mile intermediate-size Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill for the second time this season. The Monster Energy team is coming off a strong run last week at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where fellow driver Kurt Busch led the field for 25 laps late in the event. A final event caution unfortunately bunched up the field, and forced the elder Monster Energy NASCAR driver to fight traffic at the end in order to salvage a third-place finish. The positive run was enough to keep this team energized, though, going into week 26 of their 33-event season.
In July, a fast No. 54 race car topped the field several times during practice and team owner-driver Busch yielded a fourth-place qualifying spot. Car conditions changed quickly, however, for the veteran driver and his first-year team, as they were unable to find their sweet spot during the Chicago competition. That, coupled with a late-race accident, relinquished the young team to a 27th-place finish, eight laps down, their fourth DNF of the season.
KBM and the No. 54 crew look forward to another opportunity to change the end result and continue to improve their intermediate-track program. Busch, after all, has five wins in 18 races at the mid-west facility, across NASCAR's three premiere series. In his time at Chicagoland in the Nationwide Series, he also holds the record for most laps led (397). Not a stranger to being competitive and leading in the 'windy city,' Busch is eager for Saturday's Chicagoland return as he continues to seek that first victory with his team, as the owner and driver of the No.54 machine.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry: You weren't able to finish the way you wanted to at Chicago earlier this year--do you look forward to another chance?
"I look forward to tackling it again with Mike (Beam, crew chief). We missed a little on the car changes during the last race, and then got into trouble there at the end of the race. I know the car is fast - we had a good run with it at Charlotte. I think it will be good again, we just have to stay on top of the changes needed. Chicago is one of those bumpy tracks, as far as 1.5-mile tracks are concerned, but we'll take the notes we had and improve on them."
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry: How will the second Chicago race be different for you guys?
"Well, hopefully it's different. Last race we started top-five but didn't get to run the way we wanted. We are going back to Chicago this week with the same car, chassis #008, but it's a lot better car then we had the first race aero wise, so I expect better results. Kyle is in the car and he does such a great job. I hope we can give him what he needs this time around to get the job done."
Will the track be much different now than in the heat of the July event? "We will have to manage our practice sessions very well to be competitive, because of the tire drop off. This race track has become worn out, it is slick. There's no grip but it's a great place to race."
Kyle Busch's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry: Chassis KBM-008: KBM will unload car #008, first raced at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in April, when Kurt Busch suffered engine problems and finished 30th. The car then competed at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway where Kyle Busch finished third, and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, where Kurt Busch finished in second place. The backup machine is Chassis KBM-007, regularly traveled as a second team car.
Source: Kyle Busch Motorsports