If Victory Lane at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway was registered as a Foursquare location, Kyle Busch undoubtedly would be "The Mayor." Busch has checked into Victory Lane after each of the last five races held in NASCAR's top three series at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile" and will be looking to make it six straight Wednesday night driving the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) O'Reilly Auto Parts 200.
Last August, the Las Vegas native made NASCAR history when he became the first driver to sweep an entire race weekend, winning the NCWTS, NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol. This March, the 26-year introduced fans to the abbreviated version of the Bristol Sweep, winning the NNS race on Saturday and the Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday. Not only has Busch won the last five races at Bristol, he has led over half of the total laps (936 of 1,756) during those races.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 18 Dollar General NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra:
What was it like to sweep all three races in the same weekend last year at Bristol?
"It was pretty cool because, when you come so close and then don't get it, it's pretty frustrating. In 2009, we won the Truck race and we were leading the Nationwide race and we got crashed out, and then we ended up winning the Cup race. So, it was probably a year delayed. There have been some other times we've come close to getting it done at other places, too. It was pretty special. It was cool to be able to put it all together in a complete weekend, with the truck, with the Nationwide car and with the Cup car."
What makes racing at Bristol so exciting?
"Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the best racetracks on the circuit. All the fans love it because of the excitement, the run-ins, and the close-quarter action with all the cars being packed on top of one another at a half-mile racetrack with us 43 lunatics running around in a tight circle - or in this case, with the trucks thirty-something lunatics. With the fans, the atmosphere there always makes for a good time. It's a fun place that you go to that you like going to. You enjoy the race around there. We grew up at the (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) Bullring and stuff like that. Maybe not as banked as Bristol is, but I love going and racing at Winchester (Ind.), Slinger (Wisc.), and Salem (Ind.), where I've raced before. Those are all really high-banked racetracks that are a half-mile in distance, or a quarter. They're really fun to race around and you kind of get a great feel for racing in a bowl. You go down the straightaway and you slam it into the corners and you mash the gas and you kind of sling right back out of the corners. It's a lot of fun to do that. It's kind of an art. Some guys are really good at it, and some find a knack that makes them really good at it and make it seem easy."
Eric Phillips, Crew Chief of the No. 18 Dollar General NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra:
Has the new surface at Bristol changed how you setup your truck for the race?
"As far as the setup on the truck, you still battle some of the same issues as you did with the old surface. You fight being free into the corners, tight in the center and loose off. To have a fast truck, you need to try and put together a package that is stable into the corners but still allows your driver to turn in the center and put down the power off of the corners."
Does the new points system add a level of excitement to the battle for the owners' championship over the last 10 races?
"The new points system definitely adds a level of excitement to the battle for the championship. This system is a lot simpler, so you understand exactly how far ahead - or behind - you are in the standings. It seems to be really hard to gain any points. You can have some really good weeks and you might only gain three or four points, but when you have a bad week - like we did in Michigan- you lose 20 or 25 points. It's hard to make up points with the new system, so we're going to have to be really good over these last 10 races."
Kyle Busch Motorsports PR