- KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch makes his second Craftsman Truck Series start of 2023 behind the wheel of the No. 51 Zariz Silverado in Saturday’s race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Busch was dominant in his first start of 2023, leading a race-high 84 laps and crossing the stripe 4.981 seconds ahead of Zane Smith to pick up his record extending 63rd career Craftsman Truck Series victory. The win was the first for KBM under the Chevrolet banner, after collecting the first 98 with Toyota. For Busch, it was his first win in a Chevrolet truck since November of 2007 at Phoenix Raceway.
- Zariz Transport, a fast growing intermodal drayage company specializing in transporting containers from the ports, will be the primary sponsor on Busch’s Silverado for all five of his races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023. The remaining three races on Busch’s five-race Truck Series schedule will be: Martinsville Speedway on April 14, Kansas Speedway on May 6 and Pocono Raceway on July 22.
- Busch, who won KBM’s first Truck Series victory at Nashville Superspeedway in April of 2010, will be looking to collect his organization’s 100th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory on Saturday. His Las Vegas win was KBM’s record-extending 99th-career victory leaving his organization one shy of the century mark. William Byron collected KBM’s record-breaking 51st Truck Series victory in July of 2016. Overall, 18 different drivers have won at least one race behind the wheel of a KBM truck, led by Busch’s 47. Four drivers rank second on the list with seven victories: Byron, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek. Two of KBM’s wins have come on road courses: Busch at Sonoma Raceway last year and Erik Jones at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015.
- ‘Rowdy’ will be looking to avenge a win that was taken away from him at COTA last year. In his first-ever road course in the Truck Series, the Las Vegas native lead a race-high 31 laps and had a sizeable lead in the closing laps before two late-race cautions bunched the field. He was leading as the field entered Turn 11 on the first lap of the second overtime period, but Alex Bowman and Stewart Friesen both overdrove Turn 11 and slammed into Busch and forcing him off course. After righting its path, the No. 51 would and end the day with a third-place finish.
- The Las Vegas native was able to find the winner’s circle in his second career road course start last June. Busch led a race-high 45 laps at Sonoma Raceway en route to his first Truck Series victory of 2022 in his fifth and final start of the year.
- Busch is the winningest driver in Craftsman Truck series history with 63 career wins. With his win at Las Vegas, he extended his series-best streak of winning at least one race to 11 consecutive Truck Series seasons (2013-2023), The Las Vegas native has won 37.9% (63/166) of the Truck Series races he has entered in his career and has finished first or second in 56.6% (94/166). In addition to his Truck Series leading 62 wins, he also ranks first all-time among Truck Series drivers in driver rating (123.7), average finish (6.5) and is second in laps led (7,720). Over his last 27 Truck Series starts, Busch has an average finish of 3.1 while recording 15 wins and seven runner-up finishes.
- Veteran crew chief Brian Pattie is calling the shots for the No. 51 team this year in his first season at KBM after spending the last 14 seasons atop the pit box in the NASCAR Cup Series. In the Cup Series, his drivers produced six wins, nine poles, 57 top-five and 131 top-10 finishes across 528 starts. In 2012, he guided Clint Bowyer to three victories and a runner-up finish in the Cup Series championship standings. In 2017, he guided Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to two wins and a berth in the playoffs. The Florida native has also recorded 11 wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has one win across seven starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
- This will be Pattie’s first race atop the pit box for a Truck Series race at the COTA, but he has one road course victory in NASCAR’s third division, a win with Ron Fellows at Watkins Glen International in June of 1999. He also has two road course victories with Fellows at Watkins Glen in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2000 and 2001). In the Cup Series he has been to victory lane twice on road courses, with Juan Pablo Montoya at Watkins Glen in 2010 and at Sonoma with Clint Bowyer in 2012.
Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A
You already have a win in trucks this year, what is your outlook on getting a second win Saturday?
“I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Zariz Silverado this weekend at COTA. We were able to get Zariz a win at Las Vegas in their first race as a primary NASCAR sponsor — that was pretty cool, and they were pretty pumped about it. Vegas was also the first race for me working with (Brian) Pattie in trucks and a few other new people on the 51 team, so to have that much speed out of the gates shows how hard everyone at KBM has worked to make sure that we didn’t skip a beat with the manufacturer change and the other changes that we had with our crew chief lineup and such over the offseason. Hopefully we can make it two-for-two on the year with a win at COTA Saturday. The goal every year in trucks is to go five-for-five with my five truck races — we’ve been able to accomplish that before and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it again, just have to click them off one at a time. We had a really fast truck at COTA last year, felt like we deserved the win and kind of got one taken from us. We just need to go out there Saturday and execute our race, control what we can control and try to be the first one to the finish line this time around.”
Kyle Busch Craftsman Truck Series Career Highlights
- The 37-year-old driver has won 37.9% (63/166) of the NCTS races he has entered and finished first or second in 56.6% (94/166
- Busch has a total of 166 Craftsman Truck Series starts and is ranked first all-time in wins (63), driver rating (123.7) and average finish (6.5).).
- Busch stands alone as the leader in all-time career wins in NASCAR’s national touring series with 226 total victories. He has earned 61 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 102 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins, and 63 NCTS wins.
- In August of 2010, Busch made history when he won the NCTS, NXS and NCS races at Bristol Motor Speedway, becoming the only driver to sweep all three of NASCAR’s top three series at one track on the same weekend. He then repeated the feat in August of 2017.
Kyle Busch’s No. 51 Zariz Silverado RST:
KBM-71: The No. 51 Zariz team will unload KBM-71 for Saturday’s race at Circuit of the Americas. This is the same Tundra TRD Pro that Busch led 45 of 75 laps with en route to victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway last year. Busch also led a race-high 31 laps in last year’s race at COTA, but was relegated to a third-place finish after getting run off course on the first lap of the second NASCAR overtime.
KBM-71 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected 33 laps led, three top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.2 across six starts at COTA. John Hunter Nemechek’s runner-up finish in last year’s event was an organization best at COTA. Overall, across 41 road course starts, KBM drivers have collected two trophies: Kyle Busch at Sonoma Raceway last year and Erik Jones at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015.
- KBM holds the Craftsman Truck Series records for most career wins (99) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway last year, Corey Heim became the 18th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- With 41 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet.