If last Sunday’s race at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton was any indication, Kyle Busch is set for another hot NASCAR racing season start.
Even before the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season starts, Busch has found his way to the winner’s circle by claiming victory in the 200-lap Champion Racing Association Super Late Model event at the 2009 SpeedFest. While the short-track event provides little in direct preparation for the 2009 NASCAR season, it does indicate the eight-time winner from 2008 is primed for another torrid start.
“I don’t think there’s a reason why we can’t get off to another hot start,” said Busch. “But, you have to have luck on your side.”
A year ago, Busch began a remarkable streak of eight wins in 19 races when he took the checkered flag in the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“Winning at Atlanta last year was special for a lot of reasons,” explained Busch. “It as nice to get a sense of momentum, but that win was more about showing the guys what they were capable of. Once we got the first one, it just helped us dig down deeper to try for more and everybody on the 18 team believed they could.”
Now, with a win under his belt in 2009 – albeit a short-track victory, far from the immense paved palaces of the NASCAR circuit – Busch has momentum to carry into the 2009 Sprint Cup season.
“The Lanier race was really challenging because the car wasn’t that good off the truck and we worked out butts off to get the car competitive,” said Busch. “As for the NASCAR stuff, I get asked a lot why I run so many races and the answer is pretty simple: I would just be stir-crazy sitting in my bus watching the race on TV.
“Aside from boredom, I run those races to get a sense of the track, air pressure adjustments, and how things change on the vehicles throughout the race,” Busch continued. “Just the different lines that you run and the different things that you do to make your cars go fast you can use the next day. There were plenty of times I found myself in a Nationwide or Truck race trying a couple of things to see what might work the next day.”
And Busch may have been doing just this in Atlanta last March when he won the American Commercial Lines 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race a day prior to taking first in the Kobalt Tools 500. And with both the Kobalt Tools 500 and American Commercial Lines 200 again looming on the horizon on March 7 and 8, Busch may once again use Atlanta Motor Speedway to fuel his hot start.
“Atlanta definitely doesn’t have much grip, but I still seem to really like it … it’s a really fun track,” said Busch. “It’s really a driver’s track because, when you get about 40 laps on your tires, you really start to slide around and that can be a handful.
“I know [Greg] Biffle was recently back there helping Goodyear test tires during the offseason and I’m hoping we get an even better tire in March,” added Busch. “This year, I’m hoping I can do the same thing [as last year].”
And if his success at Lanier National Speedway was an indication, Busch is primed to revisit Victory Lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway after in both American Commercial Lines 200 or Kobalt Tools 500 on March 7 and 8.
Great tickets are available for the Kobalt Tools 500 on March 8 and the American Commercial Lines 200 on March 7. To purchase tickets, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or 770-946-4211, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, or contact your local Ticketmaster retailer.