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Kyle Busch Likes the State of the Truck Series, But Believes It Can Get Better

In with the new, out with the new.

That’s the theme of Kyle Busch Motorsports as it continues to put multiple young talents on the scene in NASCAR.

Darrell Wallace, Jr., Erik Jones and William Byron are a few of the rising stars Kyle Busch Motorsports has fielded entries for in the Camping World Truck Series. With the No. 9 team’s owner’s championship in 2016, KBM has won four straight owner’s championships in the Camping World Truck Series with three different teams.

In 2016, KBM won 11 races, seven of them coming via 18-year-old Byron, who drove the No. 9. Byron and co. had the most wins and led the most laps (727) on the season, with Byron finishing fifth in the driver’s championship after blowing an engine at Phoenix Raceway, eliminating the team from the playoffs.

Team owner Kyle Busch, who is second in all-time wins (46) in the series to Ron Hornaday, Jr., said he likes the way the series is heading and has enjoyed developing young talents, moving them up the rankings.

“It’s fun, yet very challenging, and sometimes frustrating,” Busch told Frontstretch. “Sometimes, you see these young kids come in and they have the determination, work ethic and have everything they need. They are just not able to translate it to the racetrack, so you don’t necessarily see them move on and get any better.  You see them filter their way back out.”

Nine different drivers have found Victory Lane for KBM in its seven-year existence, Busch leading the way with 31 trophies. Put Cup Series regulars Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne on the list of winners for the race team. But other than that, the majority is all young drivers.

Busch said he believes that the Truck Series is the perfect opportunity for young drivers to produce on the racetrack. Though KBM has become one of the biggest empires in the series, he thinks it is a stepping stone for all talent.

“It’s a huge footprint and staple point in our sport,” Busch said. “It gives younger drivers an opportunity to come in and grow a level and to go out there and succeed and to have a good chance of racing against some elder statesman like a Johnny [Sauter] or [Matt] Crafton to hone their skills. But then they can try to become someone like a William Byron and move onto the next level.”

This season’s Championship 4 saw Sauter win the title but also featured series veterans Crafton and Timothy Peters battling for the title. Combined, these three drivers have 45 years of experience in the top three divisions of NASCAR, compared to Christopher Bell, driver for KBM and also a competitor in the Chase’s final round, who had only two.

Competing against Truck Series veterans has proven to be the first step of advancing through the top three touring series. However, money and marketing has always been a problem in the sport, and is something KBM focuses on teaching its younger drivers.

“You’re always going to have those guys that are on their way down and out to help facilitate racing against those guys and making the competition tough,” Busch said. “It’s a struggle because of how expensive it is, that’s probably the worst part about it, but I think that’s our sport in general these days. Money buys speed, and if we could figure out some ways of cost containment throughout the years, it will continue to get better.”

Busch said he believes that something like the Race Team Alliance (RTA) that the Cup Series supports would be beneficial to the Truck Series as well as the XFINITY Series, specifically owners who don’t field entries in the sport’s top division.

Currently, Busch thinks that he is the leader of the movement, though, he doesn’t want to be. Until someone steps up, similar to what former Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman did, the series will remain the same.

“There is no doubt they are trying to work toward it and make an effort,” he said. “I’ve had some meetings with some of the other owners to discuss various things to try and help out ourselves out continuously. I think the landmark is you have to have someone that takes the lead of it and really facilitate it.”

For 2017, Kyle Busch Motorsports welcomes rookie driver Noah Gragson in an attempt to win another title. Along with Gragson, Todd Gilliland will run four contests and Harrison Burton will compete in six races.

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11 Comments
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DoninAjax

If he wants it to get better he should stop poaching in it. But the damage is probably already done. Besides, his ego won’t let him.

Josh

Fortunately there is a rule next year so KB can only run a very limited schedule….a rule to make cry babies like yourself and mr poacher shut your crying mouths.

Rod

You must be a Kyle “Pee Wee Herman” Busch Fan, Because WHY Everyone is SICK of that Punk Ass DOMINATE Races is not fun to watch at all. He needs to stay out of those Minor League Races and let the Young Guys race and show what they got.

Josh

He brings money and sponsors

Bill Clinton

And hookers

kb

Joshie..the Chicken and the Egg argument. He and others over the long run are doing a disservice, no doubt, He did not create the insane economic reality of today but he does contribute big time every time he gets in the truck. His ego is a problem no doubt. But what is the answer to this whole mess? No doubt he is part of the problem and not part of the solution in it’s current form..what is…good luck with that. From the back of the house however, the employment of many is crucial. God Bless…..

rg72

I’m breathless with anticipation for his comments on the state of the other series he has ruined.

Donnie DeVine

It’s great to see the ‘ Young Guns ‘ are finally being recognized.
As the Sport is evolving, the demographics also NEED to expand.
The Sport NEED’S to start bringing up the Many Talented Young Female Driver’s, because it would improve ‘ the face of ALL level’s of NASCAR ‘.
Its also, about time NASCAR put a ‘ limit cap ‘ on how many of:
Monster Cup Series NASCAR Driver’s, are allowed to compete in the XFINITY and NCWTS race’s.
This gives the ‘ Young Guns ‘ more opportunity to qualify and race.

Russ

Hard to believe that a racing series that few people show up to watch, and is the least watched of all the Nascar series is in great shape. Guess it just shows the amount of money that flows around the sport.

Bill B

The caution clock killed it for me. I watched the fewest truck races last season than I have in the last 15 years. It used to be regular Friday night viewing, now I’d rather watch Simpsons reruns.

At least it’s good to know that Kyle is guiding the series now…. (sarcasm)

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