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Busch keen to deliver for Ballew at Atlanta - again


Kyle Busch is extremely close to owner Billy Ballew and the rest of his Camping World Truck Series team. He hangs out with them, sometimes pitching in to work on the team's Toyotas, and delights in delivering them victories. Indeed, Busch seemingly enjoys winning for the team more than for himself.

Busch has ten wins in 49 starts since joining Ballew's team in 2005. Three of the wins are at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of Saturday's American Commercial Lines 200. Busch won the race a year ago when he put on a spectacular display using the high and low lines to drive through the field.

Busch also will be trying to win his second straight this season, having finished 9.023secs in front of Todd Bodine in the previous race, two weeks ago, at Auto Club Speedway in California.

“[Ballew Motorsports] feels like it's almost a part of me, this team I'm a part of,” Busch said, “It almost feels like it is Kyle Busch Motorsports - that's how close-knit all these guys are - and I spend a lot of time with them in the shop. Billy Ballew is just a great part of this deal, and he makes it happen for us. He busts his butt throughout the week to make sure we get to the racetrack.”

Atlanta holds special significance for Ballew, who owns a condo at the track and splits his time living there and his hometown of Blairsville in northeast Georgia.

“I'm always excited about going to Atlanta,” he said, “It's been exciting with Kyle winning three of the four races he's run there for us. To me, winning there is bigger than winning the Indianapolis 500.”

Bodine's start to the season has equalled Busch's, having won at Daytona and finished second in California, while Busch was second to the veteran at Daytona. Bodine's Germain Racing Toyota remains without a sponsor for the full season, but it did get some help from Geico to make it to Atlanta. The team says its success so far has brought some interest in backing the team. Running up front at Atlanta should help move its prospects forward.

“Atlanta's been one of those tracks I've run good at - whether it's the old configuration, new configuration, Cup Series, the former Busch Series or truck series, it doesn't matter,” Bodine said, reflecting on a win at Atlanta in March 2006 and two second places, “I like the track, and that gives you confidence going there.”

Kevin Harvick, meanwhile, will drive the #2 Kevin Harvick Inc Chevrolet this weekend, and has also has entered rookie Ricky Carmichael in the #4 Chevrolet, adding it to the former motocrosser's schedule based upon his eighth place in California.. Ryan Newman won in the #2 last October at Atlanta, with team-mate Ron Hornaday Jr second. Hornaday has finished second in three straight races at Atlanta.

The race also marks Rick Crawford's 300th start in the series and the 200th straight for Matt Crafton

by Tim Tuttle
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service


Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch celebrates victory in the Camping World Truck Series race at the Auto Club Speedway   [pic credit: Getty/NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet, gets into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to his eighth Phoenix win with Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who finished in sixth place Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Harvick won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was his 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads Kevin Harvick (driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet) during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 12, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, March 11, 2016 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)

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