Kyle Busch Quotes
You are now two races away from tying Mark Martin for the career lead in Nationwide Series victories. What does that mean for you?
“All in all, the Mark Martin record – it’s two away, it’s three away from being my own. When and where that happens, we’re not going to pick a date. It’s too hard to do that. We have Darlington coming up, we’ve got Dover, and we’re not going to do Richmond. There’s definitely some good opportunity here to win three more races before June, or right into June. If everything goes right, then maybe we could do that. If it comes through this year, great. If not, then we’ll just wait and try to do it next year.”
What are your overall thoughts heading into Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway?
“The racetrack is real finicky. It’s a fun place. It’s a mile-and-a-third, and yet it almost feels more like a short track. You’ve got really long straightaways, really fast speeds and you get down in the corner and you have to use a lot of brake, but yet there’s a lot of grip because of the concrete surface and the tire that Goodyear brings there. So, with the trucks and the Nationwide cars being there on the same weekend, I like it because it gives you a little bit. It’s kind of like a Nationwide-Cup weekend, I guess. You get a little bit more track time and that kind of gives you maybe a little bit of an advantage. I enjoy the back-and-forth stuff. And Nashville, being a standalone, non-Cup weekend, seems to be a little bit more relaxing and a little bit easier. I’m looking forward to going to Nashville.”
Kyle Busch: Two to Tie, Three to Win
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 19, 2011) – After last week’s improbable victory in the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Kyle Busch finds himself just two Nationwide wins away from tying the legendary Mark Martin for the lead in career wins in NASCAR’s second-highest division as the series heads to Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway for Saturday’s Nashville 300.
Martin has 49 Nationwide Series victories in his illustrious career, but Busch, driver of the No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), inched closer last week with a wild win that put his total at 47 trips to victory lane.
The fact Busch was even running at the end of last Saturday’s race at Talladega was a shock, for it appeared that his day was over after being involved in a multi-car accident on lap 89. His No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota was a mangled mess, so much so that he was ready to take his car to the garage so his crew could load it up and get a head start on the trip home.
But crew chief Jason Ratcliff had other ideas. The veteran race-caller brought Busch to pit road, where a swarm of JGR crewmen went to work on repairing the Z-Line Designs Camry. Quick and tenacious effort during a series of stops allowed Busch to rejoin the field without losing a lap. And, with 32 laps remaining in a car seemingly held together with duct tape and sheer will, Busch rallied his way to the front with JGR teammate Joey Logano pushing him from behind.
With a shove from Logano on the last lap, Busch took the lead down the backstretch of the 2.66-mile oval and kept it in the right place at the right time when a melee erupted behind him that sent Mike Wallace’s car airborne. With NASCAR having already attempted two green-white-checkered finishes, this caution provided the third and final strike. The race ended under caution with the field frozen just before entering turns three and four. Busch was clearly the leader when the caution flag waved, and after leading only three laps on three separate occasions – all before lap 36 – Busch was the leader on the lap that mattered most, allowing him to secure his fourth Nationwide win of the season and his second Nationwide win in a restrictor-plate race.
Busch not only moved closer to Martin, but also crossed another track off his Nationwide Series win list. There are 23 tracks throughout North America that will host a Nationwide race during the 2011 season. After scoring his first series victory at Talladega, Busch now has won at all but six of them.
Busch has never competed at one of those other six tracks – Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. – and is not scheduled to do so this season. And he only ran the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal once, when he finished 10th in 2009. That leaves Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Atlanta Motor Speedway as circuits he has competed at more than once yet not scored a Nationwide Series victory.
This week at Nashville, Busch will look to score his second Nationwide win at the 1.33-mile oval, as he took the checkered flag there in June 2009. Ratcliff was on top of the No. 18 pit box that night and would love nothing more than to gain a second win at a circuit he considers a “home” track.
After nine years working in various forms of racing around Texas, Ratcliff’s breakthrough came in 1995, when he joined Sadler Racing in Nashville, Tenn., as a mechanic and rear tire changer for drivers Chuck Bown and Gary Bradberry in the Nationwide Series.
After two years with Sadler Racing, Ratcliff left the team and spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons at LAR Motorsports, headquartered in Columbia, Tenn., where he was chief mechanic for Casey Atwood and Jeff Purvis over the two-year span. Ratcliff left Tennessee following the 1998 season and spent 1999 to 2004 at Kentucky-based Brewco Motorsports, serving as a crew chief for Atwood, Jamie McMurray and David Green. He then moved to North Carolina and began his career with JGR.
Despite having left more than 10 years ago, Ratcliff has several ties to the Nashville area as his parents and his sister live there.
And he’d love nothing more than to get a victory in front of family and friends, while helping his driver and friend inch closer to a record.
Joey Logano Quotes
“More than anything, I really need to thank Harvest Investments and Harvest-Properties.com for coming aboard to sponsor the event. That is huge, because this team has been running good all year long and to let the owner’s championship points lead slip away because we didn’t have sponsorship would have been tough to swallow. Times are tough now and everyone is having trouble finding sponsorships, so to be able to have a company step up at the last minute because they want to see this team continue and chase that title is huge. So I can’t thank Harvest Investments and Harvest-Properties.com enough. Hopefully, we can repay them for doing this with a win and an even bigger points lead.
“I’m excited to go to Nashville because I’ve always run well there, but more than anything, I’m excited for the guys on the team. They were really bummed at not going to Nashville, especially after the way we’ve been improving week-to-week with a pretty much brand new team. After Talladega, when we looked at the points and saw we had increased the points lead, it was a downer. Then, when things came along, I told them ‘let’s get it done.’ So this is a big shot in the arm for those guys and might just give them the added push to get this No. 20 Toyota back into Victory Lane.
“I love Nashville. It’s just a great place to go. I really wish the Cup cars would race there, but since they don’t, I would hate to miss a race there in the Nationwide deal. I won my first pole there and one of my Nationwide wins came at Nashville, so it’s pretty special to me. I’ve already got one of those guitars, but I’m ready for another one. And we’ve run well there every year we’ve been there. My first year, we got wrecked, but we were running in the top-five when we did. And last year, we were one of the cars to beat, but pit strategy came back and bit us. So the results might not show how strong we are, but it’s probably one of my better tracks. That makes me even more confident going into the weekend as well.”
Harvest Investments Toyota News and Notes
- LAST MINUTE CHANGE… HERE COMES JOEY & THE NO. 20 TEAM: Due to a lack of sponsorship, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Joey Logano were not originally scheduled to run this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. However, a number of factors following this past Saturday’s event at Talladega Superspeedway changed that. First, with Logano’s second-place finish at Talladega, the No. 20 JGR team extended its points lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s standings to 13 points over its JGR teammates, the No. 18 team. Second, a new sponsor jumped on board Sunday evening to make the trip possible. Harvest Investments, LLC & Harvest-Properties.com have signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing for a one-race sponsorship to allow the No. 20 team and Logano to head to Nashville to continue the strong start to the season and continue the chance to run for the Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship, which Joe Gibbs Racing has won three years in a row (No. 20 team in 2008, No. 18 team in 2009 & 2010). The team was originally scheduled to run the first seven races, with Nashville being the first without sponsorship and not on the schedule. Now, with Nashville back on the schedule, the team will run through Dover. As of now, the team doesn’t have sponsorship for Iowa, but is still looking for interested companies.
- THANKS HARVEST INVESTMENTS: Harvest Investments, LLC and Harvest-Properties.com will serve at Logano’s primary sponsor for this weekend’s event at Nashville Superspeedway. “Loyalty goes both directions and this is our way of showing our appreciation to Joey and the entire Logano family for their continued support in Harvest Investments,” said founder Mark Paley. Harvest Investments was established in 1992 to acquire and manage multi-family apartment properties as a means of generating significant cash flow, a consistent return on capital and long-term capital appreciation. Harvest Investments main office is located in Wethersfield, CT. For more information about Harvest Investments, call (860) 529-5158. Harvest-Properties.com is where coming home is the best part of the day. Harvest-Properties.com offers lovely and affordable housing with locations throughout the United States, offering efficient, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartment homes. Harvest-Properties.com can assist anyone in finding the perfect place to call home. For more, visit www.harvest-properties.com.
- FROM TIME OFF TO OVERTIME FOR NO. 20 TEAM: Members of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team had a number of different plans for the coming Easter weekend. Some were going to local racetracks to check out the action. Others were going to take a vacation during one of their few off weekends. Others were going to spend time with family. However, when word came down Sunday that the team would now be competing at Nashville Superspeedway instead of taking the race off due to a lack of sponsorship, the team got right to work. Starting Sunday afternoon, the team had to start preparing a car that had just been sitting in the shop previously in an effort to get it ready to head to Nashville on Wednesday evening. The team had to go over the car, scale it, set it up and decal it all in just a few days.
- CHASSIS: The JGR team will take chassis #20113 to Nashville this weekend. The chassis was built new at the JGR shops this past off-season and was run for the first time earlier this year at Phoenix. In that race, Logano qualified the car third and finished sixth.
- STAT OF THE WEEK:1.3 In three-career starts at Nashville Superspeedway, Logano has a career-average starting position of 1.3 and Logano has never started worse than second at the track. Those stats include two poles, coming in 2008 and 2010. His pole in 2008 marked his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole, coming in just his second-career start.
Brian Scott Quotes
On His 50th Career Start…
“It hasn’t felt like I’ve made 50 starts in the series but I am at the point now where I am starting to go back to tracks for a second third or even a fourth time so it’s definitely nice to be going back to these tracks with more experience. I feel like I’m able to get up to speed even quicker just from getting more seat time. Nashville is where I made my first career start in the Nationwide Series so hopefully we can get a better finish.
“I love racing at Nashville. Nashville was a great track for me in the Truck Series – I finished second there in the Trucks and it’s just a track I feel really confident about visiting. For some reason I’ve always done better at the concrete tracks. I’ve won at Dover in the trucks and I feel like I adapt well at Bristol. Nashville is definitely a track where I feel like I could get my first win. Hopefully we will have a good car and will at least get a good top-five finish or even a win.”
No.11 Shore Lodge Team Notes of Interest
- Brian Scott and the No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota team head to the “Music City” for this weekend’s Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. This weekend’s race in Nashville is the first “stand alone” event for the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011.
- This weekend’s 300-mile race at Nashville Superspeedway marks an anniversary for Scott. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver made his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the 1.33-mile track on April 11, 2009.
- In addition to Nashville being the track at which Scott made his Nationwide Series debut, it also becomes the track at which the Boise, Id.-native will be making his 50th career start in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition.
- Scott has three previous starts in Nationwide Series competition at Nashville Superspeedway. He earned his best Nashville finish during the 2010 spring race in which he scored a 15th-place finish after starting the event from the 13th position. Scott started the 2010 fall race at Nashville from the 19th position but was scored with a 28th-place finish after the engine on his car expired with just 30 laps remaining.
- Scott also has two career starts in Truck Series competition at Nashville with his best effort being a second-place finish during the 2009 Truck Series race.
- Last Race: Scott earned an 11th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway during last weekend’s Aaron’s 312. Scott scored an 11th-place finish despite minor damage sustained on the No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota during an incident just past the halfway point of the race.
- Scott’s 11th-place finish at Talladega maintained his eighth-place position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. The finish did allow him to close ground on the championship point leader. He sits a mere 27 points behind leader Jason Leffler.
- Chassis #116 is the car Scott will race this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Chassis #116 is the same car Scott raced to a 12th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway last month. Chassis #106 will serve as the backup. This car has not yet been raced in 2011.
- To access information on Brian Scott and No. 11 Team visit: www.joegibbsracing.com and follow twitter.com/bscottracing and twitter.com/joegibbsracing.
NASCAR K&N Clash
The soon-to-be Woodward Academy high school graduate wasted little time muscling his way inside of DiBendetto for second on the restart. While the pair raced side-by-side over the final laps, Pena slipped away leaving the two black and orange Toyotas to battle for the runner-up spot.
Sunday’s South Boston 150 will be telecast on a tape delayed basis on Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
New to the JGR store! Introducing shirts for our newest young driver, Brian Scott. Available in black and white! Get them now and stand out in the crowd!
The two-car draft was back Sunday afternoon at the Talladega Superspeedway. Along with it came the unique challenges it presents to drivers as they try to push their drafting partners to the front with limited visibility and the risk of hitting them off-center and spinning them out. Throughout the day, all three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas took their turn at the front of the pack as they worked together in the draft.
Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota in the 29th position, but quickly made it to the front early in the day. As was the case for many drivers, Hamlin would charge to the front, then drop to the rear as other cars found momentum in the two-car tandem draft. He found himself working with the No. 39 car for much of the race, which proved successful until the No. 39 had trouble late in the event. Hamlin avoided several incidents, but received minor damage to his car in the final incident of the day with roughly 15 laps to go. The FedEx Office crew was able to repair the car sufficiently for the final run at the win. With four laps remaining, Hamlin was hooked with JGR teammate Joey Logano in 12th place, but lost the draft when he got out of the throttle to avoid the No. 34 car who almost spun ahead of him. Hamlin would end up 23rd. The finish enabled Hamlin to gain three spots in the point standings, moving to 17th.
Kyle Busch started the No. 18 M&Ms Pretzel Candies Toyota in the 34th position and made it clear that he had a car capable of running up front and winning the race. Busch led several laps and spent many more pushing other cars to the first position. On lap 140 misfortunes struck Busch while he was being pushed by teammate Joey Logano. As Busch and Logano shot to the high side in tandem to pass another pair of drivers, their bumpers made contact off of center sending the No. 18 car spinning into traffic in the low line and eventually into the wall down the backstretch. The incident is often unavoidable given the type of racing seen at restrictor plate races with the current rule package. Neither driver considered the other to be at fault. The crew was able to make enough repairs to the car to return to the race for a few laps before finally settling for a 35th place finish. His troubles relegated him to 6th place in the series point standings.
Joey Logano started the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the 36th position and was able to clinch his first top-10 finish of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Logano showed patience and skill on Sunday. At times he would suggest to his veteran drafting partners that they hold steady together at the back of the pack to avoid the mayhem of the lead group. Other times during the race, Logano charged to the front, leading laps and gaining one bonus point in his Race to the Chase. Near the end of the race, Logano had positioned himself perfectly to make a charge for the win with teammate Denny Hamlin. However, when Hamlin became disconnected from the draft, Logano’s momentum was interrupted and he was forced to pair with the No. 34 car. When the checkered flag flew Logano was in 10th and had gained four spots in the point standings to 24th.
In one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history Jimmie Johnson captured the victory, while Clint Bowyer was second, Jeff Gordon third, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fourth and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five. There were 6 cautions for a total of 24 laps and 88 lead changes among 24 different drivers over the course of the 188-lap race.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take a week off to celebrate the Easter holiday, before returning to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, April 30. The race in Richmond will begin at 7:30 PM ET with live, high-definition coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 7 PM ET. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will run next week in Nashville on Saturday, April 23 at 3 PM televised live on ESPN starting at 2 PM.