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Aug 14, 2014 - 06:40 PM
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Reaching New Heights: Kyle Busch to Make 500th Toyota NASCAR Start
Posted by: newsla on Aug 14, 2014 - 06:39 PM
NASCAR News
Reaching New Heights: Kyle Busch to Make 500th Toyota NASCAR Start


No other driver has as many Toyota NASCAR starts, wins or accomplishments to his credit as driver Kyle Busch. Busch will make his 500th career NASCAR start in a Toyota this Saturday when he climbs behind the wheel of a Tundra race truck at Michigan International Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race.

 

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“I’m excited about it,” said Busch. “It’s obviously a bit of a milestone to reach 500. There’s been a lot of success in-between those 500 starts. It’s exciting to have as many wins as I do across all three series of NASCAR with the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.”

Busch joined the Toyota family in 2008 and wasted no time accumulating his 114 NASCAR victories in a Toyota – the most by any driver for the manufacturer. He earned the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory for Toyota when he drove his Joe Gibbs Racing Camry to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2008. In that first year, he tallied eight NSCS first-place trophies, 10 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) wins, three NCWTS victories and quickly showed he was becoming the new face for Toyota in NASCAR.

“Toyota has been a huge part of my career here in the Sprint Cup Series,” 29-year-old Busch said. “I was obviously at Hendrick Motorsports with Chevrolet in the early days and won a little bit but never won as often and as much as I have in a Toyota vehicle. That success has been awesome.”

In 2009, Busch wasted no time and set the Nationwide Series on fire en route to earning the first NNS driver’s championship for Toyota while maintaining full-time driving duties in the top-tier Sprint Cup Series and winning races in the NCWTS. The Las Vegas-native registered several NNS records that season, including 20 first or second-place finishes in 35 races, 10 straight finishes of first or second-place from June through August and leading the most laps (2,698 total) during the season.

In 2010, he formed Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to compete in the NCWTS and went on to win the owner’s championship that year. KBM won the NCWTS owner’s championship again in 2013 to earn two titles in the team’s four year history.

“A huge part of what Toyota does is help Kyle Busch Motorsports be successful,” said Busch. “All of the hard work has been since 2010 with its inception of being a race team in the Truck Series and being able to win two Owner’s Championships and continue to win races year in and year out.”

Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to sweep all three races in a single weekend at one track after he won the NSCS, NNS and NCWTS races at Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2010. In the sport’s 60-plus-year history, no driver had accomplished the feat until Busch did while driving Toyota vehicles.To date, no driver has matched his record.

Fast forward to 2014 and Busch’s stats while driving Toyota race vehicles are hard to pass up. He has the most Toyota NASCAR starts (499). His 114 Toyota NASCAR victories top the leaderboard for the manufacturer that has spent 10 years in NASCAR (2004-2014). He averages a win in every four to five races he enters and has the most victories in each of the three top NASCAR series -- 25 of 65 total NSCS trophies, 55 of 93 total NNS visits to victory lane and 34 of 122 NCWTS triumphs -- ultimately a winning average of almost 23 percent.

Busch’s pattern of success continues this season. He was victorious at California’s Auto Club Speedway in March to position himself for a spot in this year’s NSCS new Chase for the Championship format. He’s also won three NNS races and recorded 15 top-five finishes in 16 series starts. Busch has been unstoppable in the NCWTS earning victories in all five races he’s entered this year.

He looks to continue his winning ways when he makes his 500th Toyota NASCAR start on Saturday (Fox Sports 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET).

“I think it’s pretty neat to be as successful as we’ve been in these NASCAR series, but also behind the wheel of a Toyota” he said. “Toyota pours a lot of heart and soul into this sport and being an instrumental part of helping the sport evolve with the cars and everything else. So it’s been pretty good.”


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