MOORESVILLE, N.C. – The No. 54 Monster Energy team looks to continue a successful season going into week seven in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, coming off their fourth 2013 win at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. With their last victory, the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team and owner J.D. Gibbs took over first place in the series’ Owner’s Championship points, by 27. This week they look to extend that lead, with what they hope will be their fifth season victory in seven starts together.
Last year at this time Kyle Busch watched with excitement as his own Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Monster Energy team with driver and brother Kurt Busch, crossed the finish line in first place at the spring Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (RIR) event. It was the first victory for the younger Busch’s new Nationwide Series team and ultimately ended up being the only win they would secure all season. This time around Busch will tackle the Virginia short-track driving the same colors, but back as a Monster Energy athlete in the Nationwide Series with his NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner JGR. Busch sees it as his turn now, to notch another win in his belt at the ToyotaCare 250 – one that would register as his fifth career series win on this track.
Busch is no stranger to success on the .75-mile oval, recording eight total wins across the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. In NASCAR’s premiere Series Busch is the defending winner of this spring event and of all four early-season events between 2009 and 2012 at Richmond. Likewise in the Nationwide Series, Busch has posted four victories in the 2009 and 2004 spring events and the 2011 and 2007 fall events. Busch has led a total of 1,663 laps at RIR, boasting 4 poles, 21 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
Another win for you and JGR in Texas, what do you expect under the lights again this week at Richmond? “We definitely have a vibe going and I’d like to keep that up. Richmond is a good track for me, it’s challenging with the changing conditions and practice time in the day versus the race at night. But I know Adam (Stevens, crew chief) will have it dialed in. I like racing this track and knowing both Adam and I have had success here, I’m sure it will come together the way we want.”
Adam Stevens, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
Richmond is another strong track for Kyle, how will you prepare for this week’s night race? “Richmond is a very difficult, but fun place to race. The track seems to change a lot through practice and the tires fall off quite a bit. This makes it difficult to make progress with the car during practice unless the driver knows exactly what he wants it to do. We also practice in the morning and race at night, which brings a whole other set of track conditions to deal with.
There are very few pit stops in the race, and long runs are common, so you don’t get many opportunities to work on it. When the dust settles it always seems like the top few cars are door-to-door at the finish line. Kyle has an excellent track record here. We had a great weekend at Phoenix. We plan on taking what we learned there and applying it this weekend.”