Event: Heart of America 200, Race 8 of 23, 134 Laps – 30/30/74; 201 Miles
Date/Broadcast: May 6, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
The Report on ‘Rowdy’
- KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch makes his fourth Craftsman Truck Series start of 2023 behind the wheel of the No. 51 Zariz Silverado in Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway. Busch opened his 2023 Truck Series schedule with a dominant victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and has finished runner-up in each of his starts since then, including his most recent start at Martinsville Speedway. With his 2023 results, Busch now has an average finish of 3.03 over his last 30 Truck Series starts, while recording 15 wins and nine runner-up finishes.
- The Las Vegas native has won three of his last four Truck Series starts at Kansas, including his most recent try in 2021. He was also victorious in 2014 and 2017 but had to settle for a runner-up finish to his KBM teammate Noah Gragson in the 2018 event. Overall, across six Craftsman starts, Busch has one pole, three wins, four top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 6.3. In addition to his two Truck Series triumphs, he has two Cup Series wins (2016 and 2021) and four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2007 2014, 2015 and 2016).
- Busch’s Vegas victory was 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. 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).
- ‘Rowdy’ has won 37.5% (63/168) of the Truck Series races he has entered in his career and has finished first or second in 57.1% (96/168). In addition to his Truck Series leading 63 wins, he also ranks first all-time among Truck Series drivers in driver rating (123.7), average finish (6.4) and is second in laps led (7,769).
- Busch, who claimed 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 Friday. His Las Vegas win was KBM’s record-extending 99th-career victory leaving his organization one shy of the century mark. 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: William Byron, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek. Six of KBM’s wins have come at Kansas, including three by Busch.
- 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 now has two wins as a crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Saturday will be Pattie’s first time calling a Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. His best result across 26 cup starts was a fourth-place finish with Juan Pablo Montoya in 2009.
- William Byron will return to the No. 51 HendrickCars.com Silverado May 12 at Darlington Raceway and May 20 at North Wilkesboro Speedway while Jack Wood will be behind the wheel May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A
Do you feel like the script has been written for you to be the driver that gets the 100th win for KBM?
“Not necessarily — I feel like there have been many opportunities where we would’ve, should’ve, could’ve gotten that 100th win already and we’ve been talking about it for too long. Hopefully we can go out and get it on Saturday with our Zariz Transport Chevy. The way that the schedule has fallen the last couple years with the other guys driving the 51 I haven’t had Kansas on my schedule, but in the past when I’ve gotten the chance to race there it has been a good track for me – have won there a few times. We’re bringing the same Silverado that we raced at Las Vegas and was really fast, so I feel like we will have a good piece to work with. Nick (Sanchez) was really fast and dominated the race at Texas until the very end, so it goes to show that our mile-and-a-half stuff is really strong right now at KBM and that is a testament to how hard everyone worked to make sure we didn’t skip a beat with switching over to Chevys this off season.”
Kyle Busch Craftsman Truck Series Career Highlights
- 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-74: The No. 51 Zariz team will unload KBM-74 for Saturday’s race at Kansas. Busch led a race-high 84 laps en route to victory with this Silverado earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In its only other start, Corey Heim finished fifth with it last October at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
KBM-74 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected six wins, six poles, 717 laps led, 17 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.6 across 43 starts at Kansas. John Hunter Nemechek scored the organization’s most recent triumph at Kansas capturing the pole and leading a race-high 88 laps en route to victory last September. Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected three wins at Kansas (2014, 2017 and 2021). Noah Gragson led a race-high 128 laps and swept all three stages in the 2018 event and William Byron earned his first career Craftsman Trucks victory there in 2016.
- 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.