MOORESVILLE, N.C. – For just the second time this season, Kyle Busch will compete in all three of NASCAR’s top three divisions, something he has done numerous times throughout his career. Busch, who in August of 2010 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway became the only driver ever to sweep all three races in the same weekend, will begin his attempt at a Texas Motor Speedway trifecta driving the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra in the WinStar World Casino 350 Friday night.
Busch, who attempted the trifecta for the first time this year in August at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., wasn’t able to bring home a victory, but qualified in the top five and finished in the top 10 in all three races. He was nearly triumphant in his Truck Series return, running out front for a total of 75 laps before surrendering the lead to rookie Ty Dillon with six laps remaining, and recording his 19th career runner-up finish in NASCAR’s third division. The following day, the Las Vegas native captured Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) first Nationwide Series pole in his No. 54 Monster Energy Camry and brought home a seventh-place finish in the race. He completed the weekend leading 66 laps and finishing sixth in the Sprint Cup Series race.
Texas has been a track where the 27-year-old driver has recorded multiple victories in both the Truck and Nationwide Series and has been knocking on the door of victory in the Sprint Cup Series. He produced back-to-back Truck Series victories in the fall race in 2009 and 2010 and won five straight Nationwide Series races from April of 2008 to April of 2010. In the Sprint Cup Series, he has yet to visit victory lane at “The Great American Speedway,” but has recorded four top-five finishes across 14 starts and twice has led over 150 laps.
Busch has been knocking on the door of victory in all three series recently. He finished second in the Cup Series event last weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, was leading at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in the Nationwide Series until he ran out of fuel entering the final turn on the final lap and in his lone Truck Series start this season was leading with six laps remaining at Atlanta. This could be the weekend when the talented wheelman knocks down the door old-west style and rides out of Fort Worth with a Texas-sized trifecta.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 NCWTS Dollar General Tundra:
Are you looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Dollar General Tundra? “I always look forward to driving the Dollar General Tundra. My first race at Atlanta this season, we had a really good Tundra for most of the race but the handling just got away from us at the end — had to hold on for all I could just to come home second. I know that Eric and all the guys have been working really hard this year and we’ve had really fast trucks. We’re bringing the same truck that my brother Kurt ran at Michigan and although he didn’t get the win, he really dominated that race until it came down to fuel mileage. Just like my luck in Cup and our luck with the Nationwide Series team, this 18 truck has been in a position to win some races and for whatever reason luck just hasn’t been on our side. It would be a great start to a busy weekend for me if we can put the Dollar General Tundra in victory lane at Texas Friday night.”
Eric Phillips, Crew Chief of the No. 18 NCWTS Dollar General Tundra:
What will it take to have a fast Tundra at Texas? “The schedule is a little bit different this year. In the past, we’ve practiced during the day and the crew chief had to adjust the truck for the race at night. This year, we are practicing at night, so I think you’ll see the track conditions pretty similar during practice to what they will be for the race. You have to have a good balance of speed versus handling, so that you can run wide open basically all night there. The guy who can go the longest into a run without lifting is going to be the guy to beat.”
Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Dollar General Tundra:
Chassis KBM-9: Friday’s WinStar World Casino 350k will be the sixth time on the track this season and eighth career start for KBM-9. The last time the Tundra saw action, Kurt Busch led 57 laps with it at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn before being relegated to a ninth-place finish when the race was decided by fuel strategy. Jason Leffler posted his season-best fourth-place finish for the No. 18 team with the truck at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May and also posted a season-best qualifying effort with it, starting second at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, in April.