KYLE BUSCH Now One of Three, Looking For Three Straight Wins HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 21, 2010) - Three is a rather important number for Kyle Busch this week. In Monday's rain-postponed O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas...
Now One of Three, Looking For Three Straight Wins
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 21, 2010) - Three is a rather important number for Kyle Busch this week.
In Monday's rain-postponed O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, the driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) scored a historic victory that put him in elite company, while also building a bit of a 2010 winning streak.
Busch, who led four times for a race-high 153 of 200 laps at Texas, won his fifth consecutive Nationwide Series race at the 1.5-mile ovalodvance ose guys did some modifications on it. I think we'ng is a good car, it' we'as and making sure we gave cha and joined NASCAR legends Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt in the record books as drivers who have won five straight races at one venue.
Ingram, the 1982 and 1985 Nationwide Series champion, won at South Boston (Va.) Speedway in July 1985 and then won four more races at the .357-mile oval in southern Virginia in April, May, June and July of 1986. Earnhardt won the February Nationwide Series event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway every year from 1990 to 1994.
Busch also has captured two consecutive Nationwide Series victories in 2010, for in addition to winning at Texas, the Las Vegas native also won the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 two weeks ago at Phoenix International Raceway. He'll go for his third-consecutive victory during Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway piloting the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry.
While Busch has seemingly won more than he has lost at Texas, he has yet to find victory lane at Talladega, where he has three top-10 finishes in six starts, including a 10th-place effort in 2009.
He'll look to score his 34th Nationwide Series victory and his 67th in NASCAR's top three divisions (he currently has 66 - 16 Sprint Cup, 33 Nationwide and 17 Camping World Truck).
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry:
How did it feel to win your fifth straight race at Texas and add your name to the record books?
"It's pretty awesome to be with these guys, this team, Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) and all the guys at Z-Line Designs and Toyota and all our partners. To win five and be tied with Dale Earnhardt and Jack Ingram - that's pretty cool. I wouldn't have it any other way. That's how we wanted to go out there and do this. You never know, maybe if we can come back in the fall and if we can have a great race car like that again and try to go for six."
Why are you and the No. 18 car so unbeatable at Texas?
"I don't know. It's a team effort. It's all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing - the chassis guys, the body guys, the guys in the engine shop and everybody who makes this possible. We had a flawless racecar, so we had to make sure we got this one to victory lane. I drove my guts out there at the end after I made a miscue on pit road. Fortunately, I was able to come back."
Talk about Talladega and going for your third-consecutive win of 2010.
"We've never really had great luck at Talladega, and I'm hoping we can change that this weekend. I was third there one time in a Nationwide Series race and that's about it. The key there is to somehow stay out of trouble. In that race, you pretty much stay around the bottom since there is a lot of grip there and you can pretty much run wide open every single lap. Everyone can run up on top of each other. When you get single-file at the bottom, sometimes it's hard to get a lane on the outside with enough good cars to get something going. It can be frustrating, at times, because of that. It also seems to still put on a good race each time we go there. If you can be a contender and stay in line on the bottom, you can make it a pretty easy and safe race. Normally, guys are not content doing that, so that's when it starts to get crazy."
You were involved in a pretty wild wreck at Talladega in the 2007 Nationwide Series race. Is that one of the wildest rides you've taken in a racecar?
"That year, I took a pretty hard shot there, for sure. That was my first time ever being upside-down and flipping. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. But, luckily, I made it through without getting hit by another car and didn't get hurt."
Jason Ratcliff, crew chief, No. 18 Z-Line Designs NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry:
How much momentum does the Z-Line Designs team have entering Talladega after winning at Phoenix and Texas?
"I haven't even really thought about going for three in a row. I was trying to make sure we got through Texas and making sure we gave Kyle a great car to get five in a row down there. We did that, so we'll focus on getting him three in a row this week. Last year, we had a good car and a good run going at Talladega and we were leading the race when we got hit in the left-rear quarter panel. We tore the car up and had to repair that and couldn't work our way back up through the field. We had a good run last year and Kyle always runs well at the restrictor-plate tracks, so we might be able to pull off three in a row."
You are bringing a car that hasn't been raced in two years. What is behind that decision?
"The car we've run at all the superspeedways the last couple of years, we tore up in February at Daytona bad enough that we didn't feel we had enough time to get it where it needed to be for Talladega. The car we are bringing is a good car. It's really close to the one we've been racing. It's a little bit 'draggier' than the one we've been racing, but we took it back to the fabrication shop and those guys did some modifications on it. I think we'll have a good piece."
Chassis No. 1846: This will be the seventh event for Chassis No. 1846 but its first since April 2008, when Kyle Busch started eighth and finished 16th in the Aaron's 312 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. This car made its debut in the 2005 Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with former JGR driver J.J. Yeley at the controls. Overheating issues relegated Yeley to a 42nd-place finish that day. Yeley drove Chassis No. 1846 three more times between 2005 and 2006, finishing a strong eighth and fourth, respectively, in the February and July Nationwide Series races at Daytona in 2006. Yeley also drove it at Talladega in the 2006 Aaron's 312, where he finished 34th after being involved in a late-race accident. Former JGR driver Aric Almirola drove it to a pole and eventual 19th-place finish in the 2007 Orbitz 300 Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona.