First-Year Team Scores Another Top-Five Finish
Posted October 13, 2012
Date: October 13, 2012
Event: Dollar General 300 (Race 29 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Nationwide Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile quad-oval)
Start/Finish: 6th/4th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Winner: Joey Logano of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
With a fourth-place result at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) No. 54 Monster Energy team earned their 12th top-five and 18th top-ten finish of the company’s inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Owner-driver Kyle Busch scored his 14th top-five at his team’s home track, the most of all series drivers. “Mike Beam (crew chief) and the guys did a good job and everybody at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) -- they’ve produced some good cars and we’ve been finishing up front -- top-three, top-four, top-five week in and week out,” described Busch post race.
The 200-lap event began on a cool night and Busch started from a sixth-place qualifying position. Upon race ‘green,’ the young team owner-driver advanced as high as second place, then lingered around the fifth and sixth-place positions for most of the night.
During both yellow-flag and green conditions, the Monster Energy team pitted three times over the course of the Dollar General 300 Nationwide Series race. Busch’s primary concern throughout the event was a tight-handing feel, especially when rotating through the corners. “Need more front grip – not turning good enough, the throttle is a little uneasy,” described the 27-year-old driver over the radio to his crew.
The final laps of the event brought fuel strategy into the picture, as most lead-lap cars were forced to visit pit road one last time before taking the checkered flag. The No. 54 team was included in the group that needed to replenish Sunoco fuel, but not before earning the lead for two laps, while cars cycled through their pit stops. Filled with enough gas to finish the race, and positioned in the fourth spot, Busch and the No. 54 Toyota were competitive at the end of the night, however, time spent correcting the ‘tight’ issue over the course of the 200-lap event, wouldn’t offer the team the opportunity for victory this time.
“The car there at the end -- the last run of the race was really good,” explained Busch post race. He continued, “The balance was spot-on. It was a little tight on entry, but it’s good to be tight getting into the corner and secure and then you just land and mash the gas and drive up off. Just didn’t have enough speed. The Monster Energy Camry I thought yesterday was really good -- had fast speeds in practice and everything. Tonight, you just got back in traffic and couldn’t really do much. It’s all we had here in Charlotte.”
Joey Logano recorded his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 17th of his career, followed behind in the second-finishing spot by Kevin Harvick. Elliott Sadler, Busch and Denny Hamlin completed the top-five finishers. There were five caution periods for two laps of the race along with 21 lead changes across nine drivers.
The No. 54 Monster Energy team gained one position to eighth in the Owner’s Point standings, 158 points from the leader.
The next event on the NNS schedule is the Oct. 20 Kansas Lottery 300 from Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, with the television broadcast starting at 3:00 pm EST on ESPN and on the MRN radio broadcast. Kyle Busch will make his 19th start of the season behind the wheel of the KBM No. 54 Monster Energy Camry.