New Hampshire International Speedway
49 = 100
Quite simply, Saturday’s New England 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon could be a record-setting race for Kyle Busch.
The driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) can score his record-tying 49th career Nationwide Series victory as he sits just one trip to victory lane behind Mark Martin for the all-time lead in that category.
The 49th Nationwide Series win would also give him 100 wins in NASCAR’s top three divisions – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck.
By winning last week’s Camping World Truck Series and Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Busch picked up victories number 98 and 99, putting him just one win away from the magic number of 100.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been very kind to Busch, especially in the last two years. The Z-Line Designs driver has won the last two Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races at the 1.058-mile oval, in addition to a Sprint Cup Series victory he claimed in July 2006.
If Busch needed any more good karma, the No. 18 Toyota this weekend will sport the familiar colors of Z-Line Designs, the San Ramon, Calif.-based award winning design manufacturer and leading import manufacturer of home office, home entertainment, seating, garage storage systems and home décor ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture. Z-Line Designs has been on Busch’s car for four of his five Nationwide Series victories in 2011 and for 20 of his 48 career wins in the series – more than any other primary sponsor.
Busch has been to victory lane plenty of times the last few years, but perhaps one of his biggest victories of all could come Saturday afternoon in New Hampshire.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry:
What does it take to be successful at New Hampshire?
“Loudon is a pretty particular race track. It’s tough. It’s not like Phoenix. It’s not like Dover at all. It’s a flat racetrack and it’s really typical of a tough racetrack to pass on. You can’t have just a really good racecar and finish up front. You have to keep track position. You have to keep up all day and make everything work.”
How much would you like to get win number 100 at New Hampshire?
“I’m hoping it comes at Loudon. Certainly, whenever the next one is, I’ll be cherishing it just as much as I did the last one. To me, I don’t want to wait that long for win 100. Hopefully, we run well at Loudon and can get a win, get number 100 and tie Mark (Martin’s) Nationwide Series win record. It would make for a pretty cool day.”
Jason Ratcliff, Crew Chief of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry:
Talk about Saturday’s race, when Kyle has a chance to tie Mark Martin’s Nationwide Series win record and also get 100 wins in NASCAR’s top three divisions.
“That would be pretty cool. Actually, I didn’t even think of that. I knew he was close to the 100 mark, but I didn’t know he’s got a shot to get 100 in the Nationwide Series race. We’re going to go out there and try to win it like we do every week but, if you can accomplish both of those things in one race, that’d be pretty cool. Just to do one or the other would be neat, so to do them both would be a lot of fun. I’d like to get the one that ties Mark under our belt. It seems like it’s been a while, but it really hasn’t. We’ve had a good year with five wins and we were able to win at Darlington and that was a big deal. It’ll come. If it comes this week, so be it. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine, too.”
Kyle and the Z-Line Designs team have won the last two races at New Hampshire. What make this team so good there?
“You know, what’s strange is that Kyle’s not a huge fan of the racetrack. Usually when we show up, we’re about fifth or sixth or seventh on the board in practice. We just work on our deal and then we get in the race and it just sort of comes together. It seems like you can go back through the last couple of years and read the practice notes or read the race notes and they’re exactly the same – you could lay them over each other. And, hopefully, we can do the same thing this year. He doesn’t get too worried in practice if we’re not on top of the board. He knows it’s a track that comes to him in the race. We just kind of play it that way. We do the best we can during practice to get a good car and then let the race play out. We’ve been fortunate the last couple of years to be where we need to be at the end of the race and he does his thing. But, if you ask him, it’s one of his worst racetracks (laughs).”
Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry
Chassis No. 18-112: This car’s debut came in April at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, where Busch started sixth and led 39 laps before finishing second to Carl Edwards. Michael McDowell then drove chassis 18-112 in May at Iowa Speedway in Newton, where he started second, led 19 laps and finished seventh.
By: joe gibbs racing