MOORESVILLE, N.C. – As the only driver to ever win all three NASCAR National Series events at the same track in the same weekend, Kyle Busch is known for liking his wins to come in threes. Busch will take aim at another trifecta this weekend at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, where he will be competing in all three series beginning with Thursday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 225. The driver of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra will also be aiming for his third consecutive Truck Series victory, after earning a trip to victory lane after each of the last two events he entered this season – the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway on May 31 and the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17.
Busch nearly accomplished a Kentucky trifecta in 2011. After being late to the Truck Series driver’s meeting because of Sprint Cup Series testing, Busch was sent to the rear of the field for the Truck Series race. He eventually made his way to the front of the field, led 61 laps and held off a late-charge from now KBM Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman to pick up the victory. In Friday’s Nationwide Series race that year, “Rowdy” started from the rear of the field due to an accident in qualifying and was able to finish third. The following day in the much anticipated inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, the Las Vegas native started from the pole and led nearly half the laps en route to the historic victory.
As Meatloaf sang in his 1977 single, “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” but Kyle Busch likes his wins in threes. With Churchill Downs just over an hour drive from Kentucky Speedway, race fans in “The Bluegrass State” state are very familiar with the term trifecta, but Busch hopes to introduce them to his version this week at the 1.5-mile tri-oval – the trifecta that doesn’t include any second or third-place finishes.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 51 NCWTS Toyota Care Tundra:
Your team held a two-day test at Kentucky earlier this month. How did it go? “I think that test went really well. Not only was it good that we were able to try a lot of new things with the two trucks that we took, but for two days I was able to be totally invested in our Truck Series program and got to spend a lot of time with Joey (Coulter), Darrell (Wallace Jr.) and Erik (Jones). The truck races that I drive are conjunction races and quite a few of them are when I’m running all three races — like this weekend in Kentucky — and I’m bouncing back and forth between all of the garages and not able to do a lot of debriefing with them. For that test, I was able to talk with those guys a lot and share what I was feeling in my truck compared to what Darrell was in his truck. We even did some ride swapping where I got in Darrell’s truck and he got in my truck and then Joey because his team wasn’t there was able to get in both of our trucks. All in all, I think it was a valuable two days for our whole truck program.”
You are running all three races this weekend. Is this one of the toughest places to do that? “I haven’t really looked at the weather forecast yet, but this race at Kentucky is one that is typically really hot and humid, so it definitely is one of the ones where it is more taxing on your body — but I’m a well-trained athletic machine. In 2011, when I did the triple it was the first time that the Cup cars were at Kentucky, so with the open testing that first day it added another six hours in a car. I think that day of the truck race, between Cup testing, Nationwide Series practice and Truck practice, qualifying and the race I got in a race vehicle at like nine in the morning and was in one the whole day in the heat and humidity. By the time the truck race was over, I needed to go and get some fluids. With the schedule this year, it will be more like the schedule every other weekend that I’m driving in all three. The Kentucky races are big for Toyota, with having a plant close to the track in Georgetown, Kentucky, so it is one of the ones that is important for me to be running all three and hopefully winning all three. I came close in 2011, won the Truck race and Cup race and finished third in the Nationwide race and I think we have a good shot at winning all three this week.”
Rudy Fugle, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS ToyotaCare Tundra:
You recently had a two-day test at Kentucky. How helpful will that be for the race this week? “This is the first time in probably five or six years that we’ve been able to test at a track that we race at, so we tried a lot of different things and we learned a lot. This week we practice in the day on a hot race track and then race at night, so usually you have to use your notes from the previous races to formulate a good guess at where the track is going to go for the race. When we tested earlier this month, we tested at night, so the notes for that test will be very valuable for the race Thursday night.”
Kyle Busch’s No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra:
KBM-015: The No. 51 ToyotaCare Racing team will unload KBM-015, the newest Tundra in the team’s stable, for Thursday’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The last time the Toyota saw action was at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, where Busch led 50 laps en route to his first Truck Series victory of 2013. The truck made its debut at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, leading 11 laps before ending the day in the garage after getting caught up in an accident on lap 91.
-Kyle Busch Motorsports PR