The last time Las Vegas native Kyle Busch visited his hometown with NASCAR, he paraded around his championship trophy during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week.
This time he's there to compete, one year after missing the race at his home track due to a broken right leg and fractured left foot suffered two weeks before it.
Busch will attempt to earn his second career win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX) -- the first stop on the three-race NASCAR Goes West tour.
"Vegas always means a little bit more pressure -- more pressure on myself -- just because it's the hometown and you want to win there," Busch said.
"Thankfully, I have won there and I've knocked that one off the list, but certainly you want to win there every year."
Despite having only one victory in 11 starts at his hometown track, Busch is one of the favorites this weekend. He has started the season off strong with two third-place finishes and excelled at three races using lower downforce aerodynamic packages the past two seasons, winning at Kentucky and finishing seventh at Darlington last year, in addition to his third-place showing over the weekend at Atlanta. The package used last Sunday at Atlanta is scheduled to be employed in every non-restrictor-plate race this season.
"It's much different than Atlanta last weekend, even though both tracks are the same size," said Busch, whose 11.7 average finish at Las Vegas ranks second among active drivers. "Vegas is really grippy with the tire being a little harder compound and you've got really good speed, but then in the race it gets sunny and can get loose and slick. I was fortunate enough to win there in 2009, but we haven't run to my liking there overall, so I'm hoping we can have a strong run there this weekend."
Busch grew up racing on the famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway 3/8-mile Bullring where he won two track championships.
"I'm hoping we can give everyone something to cheer for this weekend," Busch said. "Especially since I wasn't able to race there last year because of my injury."