The No. 54 Monster Energy unit and driver, Kyle Busch, approach Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway this week the same as they have every race this season, focused on a victory. Having already won three NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) events in 2014, the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Toyota team and crew chief Adam Stevens have a proven path to success.
Busch will make his ninth Nationwide Series start piloting the matte black Monster Energy Toyota Camry in Saturday’s History 300 event. While North Carolina is home to him now, the Las Vegas-born native is very familiar with Victory Lane at his race team’s closest NASCAR track, having won there 14 times in 50 career starts across NASCAR’s top three divisions - including a record eight in the Nationwide Series.
Busch, recorded as the youngest NNS winner in 2004 on the 1.5-mile oval, last experienced Victory Lane at CMS after last weekend’s Truck Series race Friday night, when Busch started on the pole and dominated from first place 130 of 134 race laps. Behind the scenes, JGR crew chief Stevens last experienced Victory Lane alongside Busch in the fall Charlotte 2013 NNS event, when they started from the pole-qualifying position and led 36 laps before capturing a memorable win in support of the Kyle Busch Foundation’s Project Pink program.
With a recent birthday past the now 29-year-old Busch, in eight races run with the No. 54 Camry this season, has two team wins and one pole, with a finishing record no lower than fourth. Odds are good the winning unit will once again bring home a strong result this week in Charlotte, a track where they are familiar with the taste of victory.