For Team Owner, Ballew, Atlanta Motor Speedway is a Homecoming
For Kyle Busch, returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Atlanta 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race is a positive omen, having won all three NCTS events he has entered at AMS. For Billy Ballew Motorsports team owner, Billy Ballew, the event is quite literally a homecoming.
"Atlanta Motor Speedway actually is my home," said Ballew with a laugh. "I own a condo there at the track."
Together, since partnering in 2005, the duo has had unparalleled success in the Craftsman Truck series.
In his first year with the team, Busch won three races for Billy Ballew Motorsports and he has continued to win on the Truck series since. With a win in 2006 and two in 2007, Busch became the first NASCAR Sprint Cup series regular to win Truck races in three-straight years. Now, add three wins from 2008 and Busch has extended his record. He is now looking to help Ballew win a NCTS championship.
"We are really out here to get Billy Ballew Motorsports an owner's championship," Busch said. "If we can get close enough with having to miss a few races, we have every intention of running for a drivers' championship as well. These guys every day are working so hard to bring this equipment to the track and Billy has really stuck in there for all these years, I would love to win a championship with them."
Returning to Atlanta, Busch and Ballew have an opportunity to once again add their name to the record books for the most Craftsman Truck driver wins at one track with four (Todd Bodine, Brendan Gaughan at Texas Motor Speedway). In addition, a win would add to Busch's flawless three-for-three record at AMS in the NCTS series.
"We will return to Atlanta with the same truck [we won with in the spring] and hopefully pull off another win," said Busch. "Hopefully we'll be able to set it up for Billy Ballew to take home the owner's championship."
For both team owner and driver, Atlanta Motor Speedway is a special track. Busch recorded his first-career NSCS win at AMS in March's Kobalt Tools 500. Ballew, who resides at the track's Tara Place Condos when not in the shop, is a Blairsville native.
"It's my favorite track out of them all because of the great racing and its my home - I really do live there overlooking the track," said Ballew.
Ballew also has found memories of the great racing at AMS.
"Atlanta Motor Speedway is very competitive," explained Ballew. "Usually, there's a race all the way to the checkered flag and that's how it was in 2006. When we won two-years ago, we put on new tires and Kyle [Busch] had to make a pass coming out of turn four to claim the win."
And with three truck wins in three starts at AMS, its no wonder Busch is an obvious favorite to win the Atlanta 200 on Oct. 25. With their history of success, Ballew feels confident Busch can find Victory Lane again.
"He's great and he is going to have his Sprint Cup teammate [Denny Hamlin] running for us too, so he should have a great shot to win it," said Ballew. "What makes him so good is he's got a ton of talent and he's on top of his game. In my opinion, he's the top driver in NASCAR."
To see Kyle Busch and a field of others compete in the Atlanta 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck series race, fans can purchase tickets from the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-877-9-AMS-TIX, 770-946-4211 or www.atlantamotorspeedway.com