It's been 11 years since Kurt Busch's last NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start, but he's hopeful that his return to NASCAR's third division will be 'like riding a bike.' His bike for Saturday's VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn will be the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra, fielded by his brother's Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team.
Although it will take some laps to get readjusted to the feel of a truck, Busch believes that having two races already under his belt on the repaved two-mile oval will give him a leg up on the competition when practice begins Friday morning. The elder Busch, who shares the driving duties behind the wheel of KBM's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry with younger brother Kyle, finished third in the Nationwide Series race at MIS earlier this year. He will be looking to improve on that finish Saturday, as he bids to add a Truck Series victory to his two Cup Series wins at the track nestled in the Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan.
Quickly adapting to the feel of a truck shouldn't be a problem for the veteran driver, who proved to be a quick learner when he burst onto the NASCAR scene in 2000. As a 21-year-old driver, making his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start, Busch registered a second-place finish in the Truck Series opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The talented wheelman made an immediate impact on NASCAR's third division that season, collecting four wins, four poles, 14 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes en route to a second-place finish in the final point standings and Rookie of the Year honors.
His success in the Truck Series earned him a promotion to the Sprint Cup Series for the final seven races of 2000 and he has been a full-time competitor in NASCAR's premier division ever since. The Las Vegas native's Cup Series resume includes a Sprint Cup Series championship (2004), 24 wins, 15 poles, 89 top-five and 171 top-10 finishes over 421 career starts to date.
Coincidentally, as Busch gets back to 'riding a bike' this weekend, a bike will be riding onboard the tailgate of his Shore Lodge Tundra. The tailgate will be promoting "Win Kyle's Custom Made Chopper," the latest Kyle Busch Foundation fundraising campaign. Deadwood Choppers, based in Middle Island, N.Y., designed and built a custom chopper that features the logos of the Kyle Busch Foundation's largest supporters. Fans can go to kbfchopperraffle.com and purchase two chances to "Win Kyle's Custom Made Chopper" for $54.