- KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch makes his first start of the 2023 Craftsman Truck Series season behind the wheel of the No. 51 Chevrolet Friday night in Las Vegas. Zariz Transport, a fast growing intermodal drayage company specializing in transporting containers from the ports, begins the first year of a multi-year deal to be the primary sponsor on Busch’s Silverado for all five of his races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In addition to Friday night’s race at Las Vegas, Busch’s five-race Truck Series schedule in 2023 will include: Circuit of the Americas on March 25, Martinsville Speedway on April 14, Kansas Speedway on May 6 and Pocono Raceway on July 22.
- ‘Rowdy’ is the winningest driver in Craftsman Truck series history with 62 career wins. He heads into 2023 with an active streak of winning at least one race in each of the last 10 Truck Series seasons (2013-2022), which is the longest streak in series history. The Las Vegas native has won 37.6% (62/165) of the Truck Series races he has entered in his career and has finished first or second in 56.7% (93/165). 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 (7,636). Over his last 26 Truck Series starts, Busch has an average finish of 3.2 while recording 14 wins and seven runner-up finishes.
- At Las Vegas, Busch has three wins (2018 – 2020), 320 laps led, five top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 2.7 across six Truck Series starts. He has finished runner-up to a KBM teammate in each of his last two starts, John Hunter Nemechek in the spring of 2021 and Chandler Smith last spring. With Busch’s three consecutive victories from 2018 to 2020 and Nemechek and Smith’s victories, a KBM driver has won the last five spring races at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.
- With his return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend after a year-hiatus, Busch will be pulling triple duty for the first time since 2020. In August of 2010, he made history when he won the Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Cup Series 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.
- 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 his first race atop the pit box for a Truck Series race at the Las Vegas. Pattie’s drivers posted two top-five and four top-10 finishes across 19 Cup Series starts at the Nevada Track. Pattie was the crew chief when Busch led 33 laps and finished second at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 2003 in his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Overall, across seven starts that season, Busch collected two top-five and three top-10 finishes.
- Billy Ballew Motorsports will serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 51 Friday at Las Vegas. You can find the lowest prices on used Cars, Trucks and SUV’s at www.BillyBallewMotorsports.com. Busch claimed his first career Truck Series victory driving the No. 51 Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 2005 and coined the nickname “Rowdy” as a tribute to Rowdy Burns in the film Days of Thunder while driving under the Billy Ballew Motorsports banner from 2005 to 2009. The last time that Busch won in the Truck Series driving a Chevrolet was with Ballew at Phoenix Raceway in November of 2007.
Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A:
Will the extra track time in the Xfinity car and Truck this weekend help the performance of your Cup car?
“So to me I think the Trucks have the most resemblance of today’s current Cup cars, where years ago I would say the Xfinity cars were very similar. You know, just running the Xfinity Series again and being able to get back in the Xfinity Series with Kaulig is going to be fun and I look forward to that. Being with a new team and a new group of guys and you know just the chance to go out there and help their program and develop them a little bit and give them some of my expertise. I love the Trucks as well, being with KBM and racing my own stuff there, so it’s going to be fun to get back to Vegas and go for the triple. Hopefully everything goes well and we can win one, two or all three. That would be cool.”
How did the partnership with Zariz Transport come about?
“I’m really excited to have Zariz as the primary sponsor on my No. 51 Silverado for my five races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the next few years. Samantha and I were introduced to Zariz through our foundation and immediately developed a great connection with them and we are honored that not only have they committed to the Truck Series sponsorship for multiple years, but they’ll also continue being the presenting sponsor of our Bundle of Joy Fund gala. We feel that introducing them to NASCAR consumers and people within the industry on the national stage through the Craftsman Truck Series makes perfect sense given the nature of their business and I can’t wait to make them a part of KBM’s winning tradition. The Founder and CEO, Yaakov Guzelgul, and his family will be in attendance on Friday night, so hopefully we can start this partnership off on the right foot by celebrating with them in victory lane at Las Vegas.”
Kyle Busch Craftsman Truck Series Career Highlights:
- Busch has a total of 165 Craftsman Truck Series starts and is ranked first all-time in wins (62), driver rating (123.7) and average finish (6.5).
- The 37-year-old driver has won 37.6% (62/165) of the NCTS races he has entered and finished first or second in 56.7% (93/165).
- Busch stands alone as the leader in all-time career wins in NASCAR’s national touring series with 225 total victories. He has earned 61 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 102 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins, and 62 NCWTS 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 Chevrolet Silverado RST:
KBM-74: The No. 51 Zariz team will unload KBM-74 for Friday night’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Corey Heim led five laps and finished fifth with this truck in its lone start last October at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected six wins, five poles, 774 laps led, 16 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.9 across 45 starts at Las Vegas. KBM has won the last five spring races at the Nevada track, with Chandler Smith winning last year, John Hunter Nemechek in 2021 and owner-driver Kyle Busch winning three consecutive from 2018 to 2020. Erik Jones was victorious in the fall of 2014. Combined across the last five spring races, a KBM truck has been out front for 73% of the total laps (491/670).
- KBM holds the Craftsman Truck Series records for most career wins (98) 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 40 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet.