Kyle Busch Ahhhh...That New-Tundra Smell

Owner-driver Kyle Busch will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra Friday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway when the reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Champions open the 2014 season. The season opening event will mark the first official event for the revamped Tundra, which was redesigned during the off season to resemble more what fans can purchase in the showroom of their local Toyota dealer. Busch, who has recorded 105 NASCAR National Series victories for Toyota since 2008, will be on a mission to get his first Truck Series win at the "World Center of Racing" and deliver Toyota its first win with the newest generation of trucks.

While Busch is yet to get to victory lane in a Truck Series event at the "World's Center of Racing," the talented wheelman has recorded top-five finishes in four of his five starts in NASCAR's third division, including three runner-up results. Busch was in a position to pick up a win in last year's Truck Series opener, as he was tucked in behind eventual winner Johnny Sauter on the final lap waiting to make his move, when a caution occurred and ended the race prematurely. The Las Vegas native finished second to Todd Bodine in both the 2008 and 2009 events.

The Daytona Truck race is the first of a 10-race Truck Series schedule for Busch in 2014. The talented wheelman enters the season ranked second in series history with 35 career wins, winning an amazing 30.4% of his 115 starts. Add in 22 runner-up finishes and he has finished first or second in nearly half (49.6%) of the Truck Series events he has entered. "Rowdy" has led the series in wins four of the last five seasons, from 2009 to 2011 and again last season when he reached victory lane five times in 11 starts.

Racing prodigy Erik Jones, who turns 18 at the end of May, will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra for the remaining 12 races beginning with the second event of the year at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Jones finished inside the top 10 in all five of his starts last season, including a dominant win at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in November when he became the youngest winner in Truck Series history.

Busch is hoping all the newness this week - new trucks, new qualifying procedures and new rules in place to limit bump drafting - will equal something new for him and the new-truck smell will turn into the sweet smell of success in the Truck Series at Daytona.


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Steven B. Wilson

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