Kyle Busch is coming to his hometown track with his No. 54 Monster Energy Camry for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race. Coming off their first taste of victory in 2014, the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team and their Nevada-bred driver will hit Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday to once again take on the drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS).
Busch has had success on his "hometown" track, not only holding the record for number of fastest laps (150) at LVMS in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but he also ranks second in laps led (241) over the last nine years he raced at the 1.5-mile facility in a Nationwide race. Last year his black Camry was fast, but the No. 12 of Sam Hornish Jr. regained the lead from Busch on a last-caution restart and took the checkered flag in last year's race.
How do you feel coming back to Las Vegas, considering your finish in last year's event?
"We had a good finish last year considering we started further back in the pack than we wanted to, due to qualifying being rained out," Busch said. "So just had to work our way through the traffic. Got a second out of it, but would like to improve on that obviously. We are off to a good start with the Phoenix win, just hope we don't get wet with any more rain!"
What have you been doing this week to get ready or do for down time?
"We have spent a little time at the Glamis Dunes (Calif.) this week. I try to get out there once a year and kick the sand around a bit. A group of guys go out and get the sand rail car ready for me. It's a good way to kick back, relax and have some fun before Samantha and I travel into Las Vegas."
Adam Stevens, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NASCAR on preparing for the Las Vegas.
"We only got forty minutes of practice last year and had to start deep in the field with qualifying being rained out and the starting field being set by the previous year's owner's points. We had a decent car, but just were not as good as the No. 12 team. We also had good cars with Denny in 2011 and Mark Martin in 2012, but have yet to come home with a trophy from Las Vegas, which is a challenging place. It is extremely bumpy. You have to be able to get through the bumps to race well. Track position is important here and the tires don't fall off much, so we will see some alternate strategies on pit road. The first 1.5-mile race of the year sets the tone for all the others. We plan on keeping the momentum going from our Phoenix win!"