Wednesday May 9, 2012
Hoping First NNS Battle Against the 'Lady in Black' is a Charm
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.
Notes of Interest:
>With a second-place finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 NNS entry gained another spot in the Series Owner's Point Standings, moving to 11th, 84 points out of first place through eight races completed.
>Crew Chief Mike Beam's Darlington Career totals include 36 races, 471 laps led, one win (NSCS, '94), four poles, five top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes.
>KBM owner Kyle Busch is the previous race winner at the spring Darlington event, starting from the pole and leading 49 of 147 laps in race 10 of 34 in the 2011 Nationwide Series schedule.
>2012 season statistics for Kyle Busch Motorsports' new NNS team include: eight starts, one win, two top-five finishes, three top-10 finishes, zero poles and 159 laps led.
>Kurt Busch's win at Richmond International Raceway was KBM's first in the Nationwide Series and 17thNASCAR victory as a company; the team has 16 Truck Series wins in 76 races since debuting in 2010.
>Kurt Busch will continue as driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry at Iowa Speedway on 5/20/12 with support from NNS driver Drew Herring, due to the Charlotte All-Star schedule. Herring had four NNS starts for Joe Gibbs Racing last season, including a successful Iowa run last May where he led the first 39 laps of the event.
>Kurt Busch Career Highlights include:
>24 Career Sprint Cup Series victories and 15 poles, including one win in each of last 10 seasons
>Four Career NNS victories: Richmond ('12), Watkins Glen ('06 & '11) and Texas ('06)
>2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Shootout at Daytona Winner
>Four-time qualifier of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
>2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race Winner
>2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, first to win in "Chase for the Cup" new points format
>Other Kurt Busch Hobbies:
>Hunting, golf, skeet shooting, being outdoors, watching Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears and supporting the Armed Forces Foundation
Kurt Busch @ Darlington Raceway in All Series over Career:
Kurt Busch NASCAR Nationwide Series Career Results:
What are fans saying about Kurt on Social Media sites?
Facebook: Kurt-Busch (6,998+ followers)
Christa Ford I've been a Kurt Busch fan for over 11 years now! (May 6)
Paula Statham Another great race Kurt! (May 5)
Erin Baggerly I know right? Awesome job. If only a few more laps and u may have won the thing. (May 5)
Zach Dix Good job! (May 5)
Laura Jones Shows his talent!! Totally awesome. Believe if there were a few more laps left he could have been going for the win (May 5)
Mike Toland Drove his ass off as usual. Man that thing was kicking all the water out across the line, she didn't have many laps left in her, good recovery. (May 5)
Ronnie Kline u the man Kurt .... (May 5)
Tina Desimone Drove the wheels off that car today from 2 laps down to 6th place!!! Sooo proud of my Kurt Busch!!! "That's why he is a champion"...you're a winner Kurt...and always will be!!! Let's go win it tomorrow!! Awesome...ur the best of 43.... (May 5)
Deven Blake Thompson THE WHEELMAN!!! FOREVER. (May 5)
Al Lebo Kurt Busch never gives up! Never! (May 5)
Twitter: @KurtBusch (31,300+ followers)
@chrisplummer Hadn't watched a race in ages how could you not be a Kurt Busch fan yesterday (May7)
@cutter15_7d Kyle and Kurt Busch pissing excellence! #AaronsDreamWeekend (May 7)
@clowervumz3 Kurt Busch is my new favorite NASCAR driver (May 7)
@jsherman98 Kurt Busch is my hero #Iwannagofast
Kurt's preferred Monster Energy drink flavor:
Original Rehab, Tea + Lemonade + Energy
Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 2012 NNS Season Summary:
This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Beth Lunkenheimer.
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