MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Kyle Busch will pilot the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota machine this week, for the 22nd time of the year, aiming for his first win with the team he began just 12 months ago. Team owner-driver Busch and the young Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) crew will prepare their Camry for the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami (Fl.) Speedway, the final battle of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season.
The 27-year-old Las Vegas, Nev. native is no stranger to the winner’s circle at the season-ending event in Florida. In five Nationwide series races, Busch has recorded two wins (’09 and ’10), four top-five and four top-10 finishes with 300 laps led. Further success at Homestead-Miami Speedway includes 46 laps led and one top-10 result in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series along with three top-five, four top-10 finishes, 199 laps led and one victory in the NASCAR Truck Series.
Busch has yet to capture a pole on the intermediate oval, but is hoping to carry the momentum of his young team’s recent qualifying efforts into this weekend. The Monster Energy group captured its second pole award two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Forth Worth and has qualified inside the top 10 in each of their last five races. The team would like nothing better than to add a third Coors Pole Light Award this weekend and then parlay that into its second victory of the season.
To date, in their first full schedule together, the No. 54 KBM group has accumulated14 top-five finishes, 21 top-10 finishes and 392 laps led. They currently sit eighth in the series owner’s point championship battle. Crew chief Mike Beam has one win at Homestead in the NASCAR Truck Series and is also looking for that first victory in the Nationwide Series, together with his owner and driver, seeking the perfect finish to a healthy first year.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
You have to be proud of this team and what you’ve accomplished in the first season together. What are your expectations for the season finale at Homestead? “We’ve had good momentum the past few weeks, just haven’t been able to close the deal. I know Mike (Beam, crew chief) and all the team members are still working hard to improve our program. Seems like yesterday we just announced the partnership with Monster Energy, and here we are at the final race of our first year together. For them and for Toyota, we will give it our best shot to bring home that victory.”
Mike Beam, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
You’ve had a full first season and I’m sure you are looking for a strong run to close out the year – what are your thoughts about running Homestead with Kyle? “We are taking chassis #009 to Homestead for the final race. This car has always performed well and is one of our best; it’s one that we have worked hard on. The car was wrecked in Kansas practice, but it had great speed. It has a new body on it now and hopefully we can win the race with it. It will not be from a lack of effort, that’s for sure. I’m proud of this group of racers and wouldn’t want to go into the final race of the year with anyone else but these guys.”
Kyle Busch’s No. 54 Monster Energy Camry:
Chassis KBM-009: KBM will unload car #009, the team’s winning chassis from Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, earlier in the season with Kurt Busch. This car, one of the best in the No. 54 fleet, raced four subsequent events with both Kurt and Kyle Busch, running at Iowa Speedway in Newton, twice (fifth-place and 17th place), Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway (22nd-place) and then returning to Richmond International Raceway for a third-place finish. Most recently car #009 was on queue to race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City until an on-track incident forced the team to use the backup car. The backup machine this week is Chassis KBM-003, raced five times this year with three top-five finishes recorded.