Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kyle Busch Looks To Duplicate 2009 Birthday Sweep at Richmond in 2010

Kyle Busch is running almost as well as he ever has. In his last three races, he's finished within the top-10 which has vaulted him to fifth in the Sprint Cup standings. The success trend is likely to continue because Richmond has statistically been Busch's best track.

Busch has one win, three second-place finishes among his eight top-5 finishes in his 10 Cup starts at Richmond. His average finish position has been a strong 6.0, with only two finishes worse than fifth, and he’s completed 3,537 laps in the top-15 (88.2%) to place him second among active drivers.

In addition to his Sprint Cup record at Richmond, the Las Vegas native has notched three wins, seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 12 Nationwide Series starts there.

In 2009, Busch swept both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Richmond in May, culminating the feat on his 24th Birthday. In the fall, Busch followed that up with third- and fifth-place finishes, respectively, in the September Nationwide and Sprint Cup events.

Richmond Chassis
Saturday night will be the fourth-ever start for No 251. This chassis made its debut at New Hampshire Motor
Speedway in Loudon last September, where Busch qualified third and brought home a solid fifth-place finish. Busch followed that up with a fourth-place run in the fall Martinsville race after starting back in the 41st spot. Most recently, Busch led a race-high 113 laps in April at Phoenix where Busch looked as though he would win his first race of 2010, but a late caution forced the 18 team to pit road, where pit strategy shuffled him to a disappointing eighth-place finish.


Do you enjoy racing at Richmond?
“I like going to Richmond. It’s a fun racetrack. It’s a nice short track that we get to go and run at. For me, the success I’ve had there, I’m not sure why, but it’s just been a good place for me to run. I’m excited about getting back there, hopefully to get another run in the top-five and try to go after a win with our M&M’s Camry.”

How do you feel about the chemistry between you and crew chief Dave Rogers?
“It’s pretty good. I like Dave (Rogers, crew chief) a lot. He’s really, really smart. I feel like he’s brought a lot to the team, so far. It seems like our good days, we don’t capitalize on, but we make our bad days better. That’s been a big difference. Last year, we’d be running up front and we would be making changes to the car and going backward. Then, we would try to fix it on the next stop and we wouldn’t. We would still go backward. This year, it seems that we fix the cars more often than we don’t, and I’m really encouraged by that and encouraged by how we are running overall.”

How different has the car been each time you’ve raced at Richmond over the past few years?
“The car is a little different because we’ve been learning things. The track is a little different because it’s been giving up grip. And the tire is different because they usually bring a different tire here. Everything’s always different every time we come back to the racetrack. There’s really not much that’s the same. In the spring of 2008, we sort of unloaded somewhat similar to what JGR had there the year prior, but we were out to lunch. We really had to change a lot of stuff, and everybody was changing a lot because the tire and track don’t match, and it’s so loose up off the corner that it’s hard to get any forward bite. Everybody was working really hard on trying to fix that, and we figured out some things in the spring there and won the race, so I’m hoping we can keep up with all the changes, including adding the spoiler into the mix, as well.”

Do you anticipate a different feel at Richmond with the spoiler?
“Everywhere we’ve been, so far, there’s been a different feel. It just seems that the cars are a little more under you. They’re a little easier to drive. I expect Richmond to be similar to some of the things we’ve seen at the other tracks with the spoiler we’ve run, so far.”

You’ve had plenty of success at Richmond over the years. Is there a way you drive the car there that has helped you?
“At Richmond, you try to be easy on the brakes getting in, so you don’t lock up getting into the corner or get too loose getting into the corner. It’s really particular there. The center (of the corner) always seems to be a little tight with these cars. And the exit, today, has been so loose. Nobody has any forward bite coming up off the corner, so it’s pretty bad. That should make for a pretty interesting race. It’s a fun short track. It’s pretty fast and it usually spreads out, and you’ll get a lot of grooves to choose from. You can pretty much count on the usual exciting short-track racing when you go there.”

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