MOORESVILLE, N.C. – This week the NASCAR Nationwide Series will return to the famed Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway (IMS) where they will compete for only the second time in series history. During last year’s inaugural event, Kyle Busch dominated the field, leading 51circuits of the 100-lap race, until an accident forced the owner-driver into the grass and onto pit road, with costly time lost that took away Busch’s chance at completing victory in the special arena.
Among 9 career races at the famous Brickyard, Busch has not recorded a win, but does maintain two top-five and six top-10 finishes along with 93 laps led. JGR statistics in the Nationwide Series at the inaugural Indianapolis event recorded one top-five finish, two top-10 finishes and four laps led. The No. 54 Monster Energy team’s crew chief Adam Stevens recorded a steady top-10 result in 2012 with then JGR driver Joey Logano.
IMS is undoubtedly a track mortared with victories recorded by many of motorsports’ finest. As the winningest driver in the Nationwide series, with 58 career victories registered after his last run in New Hampshire, it’s fitting for Busch to return to the seat of his Monster Energy machine, in search of victory, for his JGR team and Toyota Racing on such a historical speedway.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
How do you feel going into your second attempt at an Indianapolis Nationwide Series victory? “I feel good about our chances this weekend. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and our whole No 54 team have had a good run together so far, we work well together and have had some success, but we aren’t done. Racing at Indy is a big deal to everyone in the garage. We all appreciate the history there and know how important a win can be on the 100-year old track, with the chance to kiss those bricks. I thought I had it last year, but we got behind there at the end and weren’t able to make up the track position. I really wanted it last year, and do again, so I plan to work hard with this Joe Gibbs Racing team and hopefully we are there in the right spot at the end.”
Adam Stevens, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
How was your Indy attempt in last year’s inaugural event? “We were just a little off all weekend with Joey (Logano) last year. We never got the car to do what he wanted it to do. We made the most of it. We qualified sixth and finished seventh… and that was all we had. KB definitely had the car to beat last year.”
How do you go about preparing for the second Nationwide Series event at the famed Brickyard? “I love the track… I always have. I have been fortunate to be able to ‘kiss the bricks’ twice there as a part of the 2005 and 2007 winning teams with Tony and Zippy. There is absolutely no place like it. The history of the place is incredible. Just to visit Indy is an honor. To race there is a dream come true. We tested there a few weeks ago and we were able to come up with a good package, even though the test was cut short by weather. The level of grip is greatly affected by the weather. Track position is crucial so pit strategy will come into play. It’s also a very short race so qualifying will be important.”
-Kyle Busch Motorsports PR