MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Remembering this year’s February Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway event, the No. 54 Monster Energy team unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to battle for the checkered flag, when their day ended early from an engine failure. Five months later the young team is not only eager to finish what they started at season start, on the 2.5-mile superspeedway, but they’ve proven they can take it all the way, already earning six victories and 12 top-five finishes through 15 races this year. The reunited duo of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Kyle Busch has proven to be effective.
Busch has earned two points-race victories over his career on the famed Florida track, notching victories in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2007. Over 41 events raced in all three of NASCAR’s top series at Daytona, Busch has earned 15 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes with no pole-starting positions, but 583 laps led, 272 of those in the Nationwide Series alone, recording Busch as the series leader in laps led.
Joe Gibbs Racing has competed in 54 races in the Nationwide Series at Daytona and posted three wins, 15 top-five finishes, 22 top-10 finishes, five poles and 429 laps led. After securing victories in both 2008 events then recently in 2011, with former driver Joey Logano, the JGR contingency looks forward to another shot at visiting the superspeedway’s famous victory lane – this time with the series’ winningest driver, Busch, their Monster Energy athlete.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
What do you expect from Daytona this week in the Nationwide Series? “The first thing we have to do is finish. Unfortunately we didn’t have that opportunity in February and I know Adam (Stevens, crew chief) has built us a brand new race car for this one, so I look forward to returning and hopefully completing what we couldn’t before. The JGR cars have what it takes to get there, we just need to put ourselves in the right position there at the end.”
Adam Stevens, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
Your last visit to Daytona ended early, have you been waiting to get back there and prove your superspeedway program? “We have had fast cars at both superspeedway races this year but nothing to show for it. We killed our car at Talladega coming to the white flag so we had to build a new car for this race. Kyle is a great plate racer and this team has a good track record on the superspeedway tracks so we are looking forward to a good run. The recent plate races have come down to who makes the right moves in the final lap or two. All you can do is help put the team in a good position for the last couple laps and hope for the best.”
-Kyle Busch Motorsports PR