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Nov 13, 2012 - 03:37 PM
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2012 Homestead: Kyle Busch NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Nov 13, 2012 - 03:36 PM
2012 Homestead: Kyle Busch NASCAR Truck Race Preview

Owner-driver Kyle Busch returns to the seat of the Dollar General Tundra Friday night for the Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The team comes into this weekend's event riding the momentum of Brian Scott's win last weekend at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, the first for the No. 18 team this season after leading the series in wins in each of its first two campaigns. Busch's third-year Truck Series program, which finished first in the Owner's points in its inaugural season and followed that with a runner-up finish last season, has recovered from a slow start to the 2012 season to put itself in a position to finish in the top-five in Owner's points for the third straight year.


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Misfortunes plagued the No. 18 Tundra in three of the first four races of the season - an early-race crash at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, engine failure on lap 19 at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway and then running out of fuel and losing two laps at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City - and the team found itself ranked 24th in the Owner's point standings heading into the fifth race of the season at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Since the Kansas race, the No. 18 Dollar General Racing team has scored 640 owner's points, which ties it the with the No. 22 Richard Childress Racing team for the most during that 17-race period. Scott's win at Phoenix marked the eighth straight top-10 finish for KBM's flagship Tundra and the 14th over the last 15 races. Amazingly, crew chief Eric Phillips and his crew have orchestrated their resurgence with seven different drivers behind the wheel, each registering at least one top-10 finish.

With Scott's win last weekend at Phoenix and Denny Hamlin's win in the No. 51 Tundra two weeks ago at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, KBM enters this weekend's Truck Series finale having collected victories in two of the last three races. The boss looks to get in on the act this weekend in the series finale and make it three out of four for his Truck Series program. Busch's goal - as always - will be to sit on the pole, lead the most laps and end the night in victory lane. Then, with maximum points, hope his team has done enough to overcome a six point deficit it currently faces for the coveted fifth-spot in the Owner's standings.

Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Dollar General Tundra:

How proud are you of the second half of the season that this No. 18 team has had?
"I'm very proud of the second half of the season that all of the teams at KBM have had. As a company, I think we all expected to produce more wins out of our building this year -- both in the Trucks and the Nationwide Series -- but all of our teams have progressed in the second half of the season. It's never easy for a team when you put seven different drivers behind the wheel over the course of a 22-race season and that's not how we had it planned. Eric (Phillips, crew chief) and the guys have worked hard no matter who is in the truck and have had some really good runs. All seven guys that got behind the wheel this season had at least one top-10 finish. That shows just how strong this Truck Series program is and that will help us as we continue to try growing next year. Hopefully, we can end the season on a high note and get another win for Dollar General."

Eric Phillips, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Dollar General Tundra:

Despite misfortunes early in the season, your team has a chance to finish in the top five in the Owner's point standings. What would that mean to this team?
"I think it's a big deal. We feel like that we've had top-five trucks all year long --no matter who was driving. It's been tough at times with some of the circumstances that we've faced. I think it says a lot about the program and what all the guys do at KBM to have seven different guys get behind the wheel and some of the battles we have had this year. To be able to finish in the top five in points is definitely a big goal going into this weekend."

Kyle Busch's No. 18 Dollar General Tundra:

Chassis KBM-9: Friday's WinStar World Casino will be the seventh time on the track this season and ninth career start for KBM-9. The last time the Tundra was in action, Kyle Busch started third and finished fourth in the WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. KBM-9 is the same Toyota that Denny Hamlin drove to a second-place finish in last year's Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The truck has qualified inside the top five in six of the seven qualifying sessions it has participated in.

Notes of Interest:

Kyle Busch @ Homestead-Miami:
• Led a race-high 57 laps en route to victory in the 2010 Ford 200 and secured the owners' championship for KBM in its inaugural season
• Has collected one win, three top-five and four top-10 finishes in five career Truck Series starts
• Leads NCWTS drivers over the last six races at Homestead-Miami in Laps Led (199), Fastest Laps Run (113), Fastest on Restarts (157.318 mph), Green Flag Speed (162.105 mph) and Speed in Traffic (161.634)
• Has won his last two Nationwide Series starts and finished in the top three in four of his five career NNS starts
• One top-10 finish in seven career Sprint Cup Series starts

Kyle Busch 2011 Camping World Truck Series:
• In 16 starts, won a series-leading six races (Phoenix, Nashville, Dover, Charlotte, Kentucky & New Hampshire)
• Ranked first among all drivers in Laps Led (703), Miles Led (782.41), Fastest Early in a Run (4.000 rank), Fastest Late in a Run (3.308 rank) and Green Flag Speed (2.538 rank)

Kyle Busch Camping World Truck Series Career:
• Has won 29.1% of the Truck Series races he has entered and finished first or second in 47.6%
• 105 All-Time Combined NASCAR National Series wins rank third all-time (Petty 200, Pearson 106)
• Ranks second in Truck Series history in wins (30), fourth in laps led (4,285), tied for sixth in poles (12) and 10th in top five-finishes (61)
• One of 10 drivers in NASCAR history to lead over 20,000 laps among the top three series
• Reached 25th win in Truck Series faster than any driver in the history of NASCAR's top three series, attaining the milestone in just his 87th career start
• Enters 2012 having collected at least one Truck Series victory in each of the last seven seasons (2005 - 2011) and multiple victories in each of the last five (2007 - 2011)
• 119.6 career driver rating entering the 2012 season is the highest accumulated by a Truck Series driver since the stat was introduced in 2005
• Average career finish of 7.4 ranks first among active drivers with 10 or more career starts in the Truck Series

Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 18 Toyota Tundra:
• Picked up its first win of the 2012 season last week at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Speedway in a green-white-checkered finish with Brian Scott, who overtook Kyle Larson on the final restart to bring home his second career NCWTS victory
• With top-10 finishes in eight straight and 14 of the last 15 races, the team currently ranks second among Truck Series teams with 16 top-10 results this season (No. 3 truck - 17)
• After 21 of 22 races completed, the team ranks sixth in the Owner's championship standings
• Since the Kansas race, has scored 640 owner's points, which ties it with the No. 22 Richard Childress Racing team for most during that 17-race period.
• Denny Hamlin finished second in last year's rain-shortened Truck Series finale at Homestead-Miami
• All seven drivers that have made a start this season have posted a top-10 finish (Ku. Busch, Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Herring, Leffler, Mayhew and Scott) and six of the seven have led at least one lap
• Earned a season-best second-place qualifying effort with Jason Leffler at Kansas Speedway (4/21/12)
• In 2011, ranked first in Truck Series wins (8) and second in Owner's points (920), Laps Led (878), Fastest Laps Run (448) and Top-Five Finishes (16)
• Since debuting in the Truck Series in 2010, has compiled 17 wins, 37 top-five and 53 top-10 finishes over 71 starts
• In 2010, became first team since the NCWTS originated in 1995 to win the Owner's Championship in its inaugural season
Strong Finishes Equal Online Savings Monday's at DollarGeneral.com

Dollar General is giving fans an extra reason to cheer for Kyle Busch at Homestead-Miami Speedway Friday night. If the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra brings home a top-10 finish in the Ford EcoBoost 200, everyone will receive 10% off all online products purchased at DollarGeneral.com next Monday, Nov. 19, and if he wins, the savings increase to 20% off.

The Phillips File:
Crew chief Eric Phillips' drivers have posted an average finish of 9.6 across eight starts at Homestead-Miami, including one win (Kyle Busch 11/19/10), two top-five and five top-10 finishes. The Illinois native picked up his 27th career victory atop the pit box last week at Phoenix International Raceway and currently stands one behind KBM General Manager Rick Ren on the all-time wins list. Phillips has now recorded victories with eight different drivers behind the wheel (Bowyer, Ky. Busch, Hamlin, Kahne, Kvapil, Scott, Setzer and Skinner).

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