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2014 Kentucky: Kyle Busch NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 24, 2014 - 06:29 AM
NASCAR News
2014 Kentucky: Kyle Busch NASCAR Truck Race Preview


Kyle Busch returns to the seat of the No. 51 Tundra Thursday for the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Busch, who's Toyota will have Dollar General onboard for the first time in 2014, will be looking to trot to his sixth consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory after posting victories in each of his four Truck Series starts this season as well as in last year's season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

 

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Busch has been a force to be reckoned with every time he has gotten behind the wheel of a truck over his career, winning 32.8% (39/119) of his series starts, but has really seemed to taken a liking to the brand new Tundra that Toyota rolled out this season. After posting just five perfect Driver Ratings across his first 116 Truck Series starts, he has scored one in each of the last three races he entered. "Rowdy" has won each of those three races from the pole and along the way led a combined 76.6% (384/501) of the laps. Add in the 25 laps led in his season-opening win at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and his 409 laps led in 2014 are already more than the 356 he led across 11 starts and five wins last season.

The Las Vegas native will now look to make it five-for-five this season in the Truck Series as the series heads to Kentucky Speedway, a track where he has scored wins in four different series. Busch won at the mile-and-a-half venue in the ARCA Racing Series in 2003, the Nationwide Series in 2004, and in 2011 was victorious in both the Truck Series event and the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race. Over the last 10 Truck Series events in the "Bluegrass State," he leads all drivers with an Average Finish of 4.3, a Driver Rating of 124.3 and 219 laps led. In his four starts, he has produced one win, two top-five and four top-10 finishes while leading 40 or more laps in each event.

Dollar General will be onboard the No. 51 Tundra this weekend for the first of its four races as a primary sponsor this season, three with Busch and one with Erik Jones. Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) drivers have registered six wins, including the team's historic first victory at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway in April of 2010, and 15 top-five finishes across 28 races with the nation's largest small-box discount retailer adorning the team's Toyotas. Busch has scored five of those wins to go along with 12 top-five finishes across his 15 starts in the yellow Tundra.

Darrell Wallace Jr.'s win at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill. last weekend marked KBM's fifth in seven races this season and eighth over the last 11 events. When the engines fire in Kentucky Thursday night, not only will "Rowdy" will be shooting for his sixth consecutive Truck Series win as a driver, he will be looking to collect his sixth win of 2014 as an owner.

Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 51 Dollar General Tundra:

You've won all four Truck Series Races you've competed in this season. Is there something that you've hit on in the truck this year?
"I don't think there is anything that I'm doing in particular to win these races -- it's a total team effort. It's all about being focused and putting your mind to it. That's a lot easier to do when you know that you're in good equipment and believing in my guys that they are unloading some really fast Tundras. You can't just unload and expect to win -- you have to keep working hard throughout the practice sessions and tweaking on your stuff to make it better for the race. We've been able to do that over the first four races I've been in the truck this season and we'll look to try and get another victory this week at Kentucky. It's our first race this year with Dollar General onboard and I know that Rick Dreiling (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer) and a lot of their executives are going to be there, so hopefully we can be celebrating with them in victory lane after the race."

Why has KBM been so successful this season?
"I think it all started last year. Towards the middle of last season, everyone at our shop with the support of everyone at Toyota and Toyota Racing Development started working hard on this new Tundra. All the hard work at KBM Chassis and by everyone back at the shop has really paid off. They've given us some really good trucks to drive and it has been a lot of fun. Everybody believes that the reason we are so successful is because I drive our trucks, but I think our young guys proved last week that isn't the case. It was really cool to see how fast both Darrell (Wallace Jr.) and Erik were at Gateway -- to see them both up front and for the 54 team to get the win. People in the motorhome lot at Michigan probably wondered what was going on, because Samantha and I were yelling at the TV as we watched that race. It's just a shame what happened to the 51 truck at the end of the race, because I think it would've been a one-two finish for KBM and it would've been exciting -- and maybe a little bit nerve wracking -- to see my two young guys battle it out for the win in the closing laps."

Eric Phillips, Crew Chief of the No. 51 Dollar General Tundra:

What makes Kentucky the most unique of the mile-and-a-half tracks?
"The race track hasn't been repaved or ground in many years, so it's really rough and bumpy. We don't go anywhere with the trucks that is anywhere near that bumpy. It's usually one of the first hot races of the season, so it gets slick and when you combine that with it being so rough, you really have to work on the drivability of your truck through the corners."

Kyle Busch's No. 51 Dollar General Tundra:

KBM-021: The No. 51 Dollar General team will unload chassis KBM-021 for Thursday night's UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. The Tundra has won three of its four starts with Busch behind the wheel, picking up victories at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. and Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway last year and a dominant win at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway this May. Most recently, Erik Jones qualified fifth and finished 11th with the Toyota at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Notes of Interest:
Kyle Busch @ Kentucky:
• Leads all NCWTS drivers in several loop data categories over the last 10 races, including: Average Finish (4.3), Driver Rating (124.3), Fastest Laps Run (103), Fastest on Restarts (160.159 mph) and Laps Led (219)
• Came from the rear of the field to lead 61 laps and win the 2011 NCWTS race (7/7/11)
• Started from the pole and led 125 of 167 laps en route to victory in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race (7/9/11)
• Led the final three laps en route to victory in the 2004 Nationwide Series event (6/19/04)
• Led 91of 137 laps en route to victory in the 2003 ARCA Racing Series event (5/10/03)

Kyle Busch 2014 Camping World Truck Series Highlights:
• Has been victorious in all four of his NCWTS starts this season, winning at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2/21/14), Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (5/9/14), Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (5/16/14) and Dover (Del.) International Speedway (5/30/14)
• Leads all NCWTS drivers in several statistical categories, including Average Running Position (1.7), Driver Rating (142.3), Fastest Early in Run (1.500 Average Rank), Fastest Late in Run (3.750 Average Rank), Fastest Laps Run (186), Green Flag Speed (2.500 Rank), Laps Led (409), Percentage of Laps Led (68.1%) and Miles Led (563.50)
Kyle Busch 2013 Camping World Truck Series Highlights:
• Collected a series-leading five wins; 5/17/13 @ Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 5/31/13 @ Dover (Del.) International Speedway, 8/21/13 @ Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, 9/13/13 at (Ill.) Speedway and 11/16/13 @ Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway
• In 11 starts posted eight top-three and nine top-10 finishes while leading multiple laps in each event
Kyle Busch Camping World Truck Series Career:
• Has won 32.8% (39/119) of the NCWTS races he has entered and finished first or second in 51.3% (61/119)
• 134 all-time combined NASCAR National Series wins rank him second all-time to Richard Petty (200)
• Ranks second in NCWTS history in wins (39), fourth in laps led (5,095) and sixth in poles (14)
• Entered the 2014 season ranked first all-time among NCWTS drivers with a career driver rating of 119.6 and average finish of 7.3
• As an owner-driver in 2013, his series-leading five wins helped KBM win its second Owner's Championship it its four-year existence
• As an owner-driver in 2010, his series-leading eight wins helped KBM become the first team since the NCWTS originated in 1995 to capture an Owner's Championship in its inaugural season
• Led the NCWTS in wins for three consecutive seasons from 2009 - 2011; 2009 (7), 2010 (8) and 2011 (6) and again in 2013 (5)
Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 51 Tundra:
• Kyle Busch has won all four of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts this season, capturing victories at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Dover (Del.) International Speedway
• Erik Jones has an average finish of 17.3 and average starting position of 4.0 in three starts this season, Jones produced a season-best 11th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
• In 2013, produced a series-leading six wins (Kyle Busch -5, Erik Jones- 1), 505 laps led and 11 top-five finishes en route to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Championship
• In 2013, Kyle Busch registered five wins, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 7.0 across 11 starts
• At the age of 17 years, five months and nine days, Erik Jones became the youngest winner in NCWTS history with his win in the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (11/8/13)
• In five starts in 2013, Jones led 84 laps en route to two top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 6.0
KBM NCWTS Program
• Has won eight of the last 11 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races dating back to Darrell Wallace Jr.'s victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last October
• Has collected two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Championships, 30 Truck Series victories and 14 poles across 171 starts since originating in 2010
• Six different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 23. Darrell Wallace Jr. and Denny Hamlin have produced two victories, while Erik Jones, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott and have all collected one win

KBM NCWTS @ Kentucky
KBM Truck Series drivers have produced one win (Kyle Busch, 2011), four top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.9 across nine starts at Kentucky Speedway. Darrell Wallace Jr. rolled off second in last year's event, the best starting position for a KBM driver.

The Phillips File:
Eric Phillips, the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, picked up his 31st career series victory with Kyle Busch in the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on May 30. The Illinois native has visited victory lane with eight different Truck Series drivers and 20 different tracks in his 10 seasons atop the pit box. He led KBM to a Truck Series Owner's Championship and series-leading eight wins in its inaugural campaign in 2010 and overall in four seasons at KBM has guided the team to 21 wins with four different drivers.

Phillips' Truck Series drivers have registered two wins (Dennis Setzer, 2005 & Kyle Busch, 2011), five top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.8 across six starts at Kentucky Speedway.

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