In February, Kyle Busch brought his young team to the 'Super Bowl' of race tracks and showed the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) that the No. 54 team was open for business. Despite a 24th starting position, the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) owner-driver wheeled his machine into contention until a last lap accident caused the team to record their first NNS DNF, finishing 18th. Crew Chief Mike Beam then brought a new chassis to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway where Busch was able to showcase his group's abilities, again competing for the win on the final lap of the race, but ultimately finishing in second place to a competitor with familiar colors, the No. 18 of Joe Gibbs Racing.
The last points-race win for Busch at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (DIS) was in July of 2008, accomplishing first place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Before that, the Las Vegas native earned victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series during the summer event of 2007. In February of 2012, Busch nearly spotted the checkered flag as he approached the frontstretch, only to be hit from behind and ultimately wrecked, ending his chances to bring the black No. 54 machine all the way home to victory. This time Busch is due for a win on the historic 2.5-mile Florida track, and the team will bring back chassis #010 from the Talladega run.
So the winningest driver in the series will try again to earn his ninth consecutive season Nationwide series win and that first victory driving his own No. 54 Monster Energy machine. It has been 22 races since the series veteran has won a Nationwide event, last recorded at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in 2011. Busch looks to notch his 52nd career Nationwide Series win this week and in Monster Energy style, by mastering the high banks of Daytona.
Kyle Busch, Driver of the No. 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series Monster Energy Camry:
You were so close to victory in the season start at Daytona, then Talladega in the spring, what are your expectations for this Daytona run?
"When we came here in February, it was about seeing what the team had, how our equipment had been built and whether we would be competitive. Although not the finish we hoped for, the February event showed us we can be there at the end and be battling for the win.