By Helen E. McKinney
SPARTA, Ky. (September 2011) During his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career, Kyle Busch ranks only second to Ron Hornaday Jr. with 29 wins. Pretty impressive for a young Las Vegas native who seeks to sweep the track at this years NASCAR Camping World Series (NCWTS) race at the Kentucky Speedway on Oct. 1.
In 10 starts this season, Busch, 26, has won a series-leading five races in Phoenix, Nashville, Dover, Charlotte, and Kentucky. He beat out David Reutimann in the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 held in July, while a crowd of more than 107,000 cheered him on.
Sometimes known as Rowdy or Shrub, Busch has also had eight top-five finishes. He has consistently won 30.5 percent of the NCWTS races he has entered and finished in either first or second place in 49.5 percent of the races.
At 20 years old, he was the youngest driver in NCWTS history to win a race on May 20, 2005, at the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He ranks first in wins, with six; laps led, with 609; and fastest laps run, with 295.
Setting records just comes naturally for Busch as he racks up the miles on his car. He is one of only 10 drivers in NASCAR history to lead more than 20,000 laps among the top three series. He has had at least one NCWTS victory in each of the last seven seasons and multiple victories in each of the last five seasons.
His 119.6 career driver rating entering the 2011 season was the highest rating accumulated by a NCWTS driver since the stat debuted in 2005. Hell race at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series held at Sparta, Ky., in his No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra for his own team, Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Often referred to as the younger brother of 2004 Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, Kyle can hold his own when racing against the best of the best. As a young boy, he learned many valuable lessons from his father and older brother in the family garage. By the time he turned ten years old, Busch was a full-fledge mechanic and crew chief of his brothers dwarf car team.
It was only three years later in 1998 that Busch officially began his racing career. Between the years 1999 and 2001, he snagged more than 65 wins in legends car racing and two track championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedways Bullring.
Not stopping there, Busch began competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (now the Camping World Truck Series) for Roush Racing at age 16. He debuted at Indianapolis Raceway Park, placing ninth.
With racing on his mind, Busch graduated with honors from Durango High School in Las Vegas a year early in 2002. He debuted in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Lowes Motor Speedway, finishing 12th.
A year later he signed a driver development contract with Hendrick Motorsports. Busch won his first two races at Nashville Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway, where he will return over Labor Day weekend.
He next drove for NEMCO Motorsports, beginning his full-time season in 2004. He took the Lowes car that formerly belonged to Brian Vickers, who moved on to the NEXTEL Cup series.
Busch earned the Rookie of the Year award in the series, and went on to claim five wins in 2004. This placed him as the record holder of the most races won by a driver in their rookie season. He also qualified for six out of nine NEXTEL Cup races.
Busch went on to win his first career NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race in 2005 at the California Speedway. He won the 2005 NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year award with two wins and a 12th place points finish. Not stopping there, Busch became the youngest pole sitter in NEXTEL Cup history after winning the pole for the 2005 Auto Club 500.
He repeated his Lowes victory in 2006 in a truck resembling the Rowdy Burns car from the movie, Days of Thunder. He became the first NACAR NEXTEL Cup driver to win NASCARS Car of Tomorrow at the 2007 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch scored Hendrick Motorsports their 200th NASCAR victor but announced plans to leave Hendrick Motorsports once the 2007 season ended. He was replaced by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Two months later, Busch joined Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2008 truck series season.
One year later, Busch won the Nationwide Series finale and his first NASCAR Championship. This distinguished him as the first driver since Sam Ard in 1983 to win the season finale and championship in the same year. His 2009 season in the Camping World Truck Series began much like the previous season.
Later that year, on Dec. 22, 2009, Busch announced the formation of Kyle Busch Motorsports that fielded two teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2010. On Aug. 21, 2010, Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three NASCAR tour events (Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and the Sprint Cup Series) in a single weekend at Bristol.
Busch has had four victories during the 2011 season. On Aug. 21, he won the Pure Michigan 400 and became the first man to gain a spot in the Chase.