NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Overview:
Location: Richmond Raceway (0.75-mile D-shaped oval)
Date/Broadcast: July 29, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
- Matt Mills will make his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) debut behind the wheel of the No. 51 Silverado in Saturday’s Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond Raceway. Saturday’s start will be the first of a two-race deal with KBM that also will see him behind the wheel of the No. 51 at The Milwaukee Mile Speedway Aug. 27.
- J.F. Electric, an electrical contractor that’s in the business of creating connections, will be the primary sponsor adorning Mill’s Silverado for both events. Mills will also carry associate sponsorship from Utilitra, a women-owned utility and technology solutions provider with a diverse team of specialized professionals, and Thompson Electric, a full-service electrical contracting company, for his two-race schedule.
- The 26-year-old driver, who was born two hours from Richmond in Lynchburg, Va., has made 20 career starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series including five this season. He registered a season-best 19th-place finish in the Truck Series’ event at World Wide Technology Raceway in June. He produced a career-best starting position of fourth at Michigan International Speedway in 2018 and a career-best 15th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2022.
- In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the Virginia native has made 121 career starts with a best result of 10th coming at Daytona International Speedway in 2019. He also made one NASCAR Cup Series start at Kansas Speedway in 2021. Mills has made seven Xfinity Series starts at Richmond, registering a track-best 13th-place finish twice. He has not competed in a Truck Series race at Richmond.
- KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch, who claimed KBM’s first-ever Truck Series victory at Nashville Superspeedway in April of 2010, collected his organization’s 100th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory last Saturday at Pocono in the No. 51 Silverado. The No. 51 team currently ranks seventh in the Craftsman Truck Series owner’s point standings. Across 16 starts in 2023, the team has recorded two wins, one pole, 170 laps led, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.2. Entering the final race of the regular season, they sit 62 points above the cutoff line for making the owner’s playoffs without a new winner this week and 50 points above the cutoff line if there is a new owner winner this week.
- 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 Richmond Raceway. He won the 2012 September Cup Series race at Richmond with Bowyer.
- Jack Wood will return to the No. 51 Chevrolet Aug. 11 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Matt Mills, Driver Q&A
What do you think the differences between driving an Xfinity car and a truck will be at Richmond?
“In the truck I feel like I’ll be able to be a tad more aggressive off the corners. In the Xfinity car, being able to feather the throttle off the corners kind of fits my driving style not having to be so aggressive and attacking every lap. Hopefully, the style of driving the Xfinity car will be able to transfer over to the truck. I think you’ll have to be a little bit more aggressive with the truck but still feel like you have an egg under the throttle and make sure that you take care of your tires. It’s usually a race where you have to be smooth throughout the race and be there at the end.”
Have you set any goals for this weekend?
“The way I look at it is I want to prove that I’m not wasting this opportunity. A top 10 would be good, top five would be great and if I’m able to win it would be a dream come true. Really, this is going to be a learning curve for me. It’s going to be a great experience and kind of open up my eyes to the sport and see how the upper echelon teams operate. I feel like I need to go out there and not make a fool of myself, gain respect and take everything that I learn this weekend at Richmond and go out and be even better when we show up at Milwaukee.”
Matt Mills Career Highlights
- Finished 38th in his lone NASCAR Cup Series start at Kansas Speedway in 2021.
- Has recorded one top-10 finish across 121 career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, which came at Daytona International Speedway in July of 2019.
- Has produced an average finish of 25.8 across 20 career starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Produced a career-best starting position of fourth at Michigan International Speedway in 2018 and a career-best 15th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2022.
Matt Mills No. 51 J.F. Electric Silverado RST:
KBM-69: The No. 51 J.F. Electric team will unload KBM-69 for Saturday night’s race at Richmond. Across eight starts, KBM-69 has recorded a best result of second twice, both at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Busch (2021 and 2022). Most recently, Jack wood finished 18th with this Silverado at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.
KBM-69 Performance Profile:
|Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have produced two wins, six top-five and six top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 7.9 across nine Truck Series starts at Richmond. Chandler Smith won last year’s race at Richmond and John Hunter Nemechek was victorious in 2021. Kurt Busch picked up the team’s lone NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at the Virginia track in April of 2012.
- KBM holds the Craftsman Truck Series records for most career wins (100) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch picked up his organization’s first-ever win at Nashville Superspeedway in April of 2010 and also picked up its 100th Truck Series victory at Pocono Raceway in July of 2023. 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 42 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet.
Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 Chevrolet Silverado 2023 Craftsman Truck Series Box Score:
|Fri., Feb. 17||Daytona International Speedway||Jack Wood||3||27||79/79||0||Running||14/25th|
|Fri., March 3||Las Vegas Motor Speedway||Kyle Busch||1||1||134/134||84||Running||54/13th|
|Sat., March 18||Atlanta Motor Speedway||Jack Wood||17||10||137/137||2||Running||81/9th|
|Sat., March 25||Circuit of the Americas||Kyle Busch||2||2||42/42||12||Running||132/5th|
|Sat., April 1||Texas Motor Speedway||Jack Wood||2||9||172/172||0||Running||160/5th|
|Sat., April 8||Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt)||William Byron||14||3||150/150||0||Running||200/4th|
|Fri., April 14||Martinsville Speedway||Kyle Busch||2||2||124/124||37||Running||253/3rd|
|Sat., May 6||Kansas Speedway||Kyle Busch||2||7||134/134||11||Running||293/3rd|
|Sat., May 12||Darlington Raceway||William Byron||8||4||158/158||7||Running||343/1st|
|Sat., May 20||North Wilkesboro||William Byron||4||11||252/252||10||Running||384/1st|
|Fri., May 26||Charlotte Motor Speedway||Jack Wood||10||18||134/134||0||Running||403/2nd|
|Sat., June 3||World Wide Technology Raceway||Jack Wood||21||29||158/162||0||Running||411/4th|
|Fri., June 23||Nashville Superspeedway||Jack Wood||13||30||144/150||0||Running||418/6th|
|Sat., July 8||Mid-Ohio||Jack Wood||9||31||65/67||0||Running||424/7th|
|Sat., July 22||Pocono Raceway||Kyle Busch||12||1||60/60||7||Running||471/7th|
|Sat., July 29||Richmond Raceway||Matt Mills|
|Fri., Aug. 11||Lucas Oil Raceway||Jack Wood|
|Sun., Aug. 27||Milwaukee Mile||Matt Mills|
|Fri., Sept. 8||Kansas Speedway||Jack Wood|
|Thurs., Sept. 14||Bristol Motor Speedway||Jack Wood|
|Sat., Sept. 30||Talladega Superspeedway||Jack Wood|
|Sat., Oct. 21||Homestead-Miami Speedway||Jack Wood|
|Fri., Nov. 3||Phoenix Raceway||Jack Wood|