Kyle Busch Motorsports owner/driver Kyle Busch gets back behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Toyota Tundra this Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, home of the WinStar World Casino 350. The No. 51 is in a battle for the Camping World Truck Series owner’s championship, just 15 points behind the No. 88 of ThorSport and driver Matt Crafton.
Busch has two previous Truck Series wins at Texas, and the No. 51 team has strung together seven top 10 finishes in the last eight races, including a sixth-place finish with Denny Hamlin behind the wheel last weekend at Martinsville.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work by a lot of people at Kyle Busch Motorsports and the support we get from Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development),” said Busch on the KBM website. “When we started off the season, the No. 51 team was just a handful of guys because we were only scheduled to run about 10 races. Throughout the course of the season, we were able to bring Erik Jones and Chad Hackenbracht onboard and they’ve both done a nice job with their limited schedules as rookies. It’s really tough being a rookie in the Truck Series, especially when you’re running a limited schedule that is scattered throughout the season and you only get behind the wheel once a month. It’s really hard to get in a rhythm that way, but both of those guys were able to get us a runner-up finish - Erik at Iowa and Chad up in Canada - and are a big part of us being able get to where we are now - being within striking distance with three races to go.”
“Denny had a really strong truck last week and I think it would’ve been him and Darrell (Wallace Jr.) battling for the win at the end if it wasn’t for Denny getting spun,” Busch continued. “In the end though, Denny battled back and gained us a lot of points after the 88 team had their troubles. We still got a ways to go - I think we are somewhere around 15 points out of it - we just need to go out and have three strong runs to finish the season out.”
Joey Coulter, in the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra this weekend, has four top 10 finishes in five races at Texas Motor Speedway, with an average finish of 9.2.
“Texas is a high speed, high-momentum race track that develops multiple racing grooves over the course of the night,” said Coulter. “It’s getting worn out and therefore, the grip level is down, which makes for good racing. It’s got some pretty good bumps in it, which give it a lot of character. Texas is a track I’ve have always enjoyed racing at, with its multiple grooves it allows for a lot of passing which makes the racing that much more exciting.”
Last week’s winner Darrell Wallace Jr., in the No. 54 Camping World/Good Sam Tundra, finished sixth in the April event at Texas Motor Speedway, his first visit to the track. His historic win hasn’t completely sunk in yet.
“Not yet. It will,” said Wallace Jr. “But we go out there, and yeah, I want to be a role model and inspiration to the younger kids and just change the sport as a whole and change it for the better, bring in a new face and just new activity into the sport, and winning helps everything. Winning — there’s nothing better than winning. I think that’ll help kind of pave its own way there, and hopefully get my name out there even more. Winning this big race can always do that, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do all year is to get my name out there, to keep pushing, to strive for kids younger than me to get in the sport and be here sitting talking to you guys one day.”
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