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Busch chasing Truck title for Ballew

He may have missed out on NASCAR's Chase for the Championship, but Kyle Busch remains committed to lifting some end-of-season silverware.

Billy Ballew has been an owner in the Camping World Truck Series since 1996 and began racing full time in it in 2002. He typically has used multiple drivers each season, preventing his team from winning that championship.

NASCAR also has an owners' championship and, in the 14 previous truck seasons, it has gone to the owner of the team with the champion driver. Ballew, with Kyle Busch's invaluable help, wants to become the first to win the owners' title without having the champion driver.

Busch's #51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota enters Friday's WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway trailing Ron Hornaday Jr.'s #33 Kevin Harvick Inc Chevrolet by 100 points and, with only three races remaining, including Texas, it's a big deficit for Busch and crew chief Richie Wauters to overcome. Big, but not impossible, however, especially as Busch chopped 78 points off the gap with his victory - and Hornaday's 17th-place finish - at Talladega last week.

It was Busch's fourth straight win in truck races he has entered and his sixth victory in twelve starts this season. He has also finished second three times.

“Is [the championship] possible? Yes, but it might not be probable,” Ballew admitted, “We'll give it our best effort and see where it shakes out after Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. It is definitely something we think about, and it would mean the world to me and the Billy Ballew Motorsports team to win a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship after 14 years competing.”

Busch, who will drive the #51 in the final two races of the season at Phoenix and Homestead, began driving for Ballew, a 50-year-old businessman from Blairsville, in 2005 and has 15 of the team's 16 victories. He made a concerted effort to help Ballew win the owners' title last year, when he drove in 18 races, but the team finished third in owners' points.

“We want to win the owners' championship for Billy Ballew,” Busch said early in the season, “He does everything he can to keep this team going.”

Brian Ickler, who has run six races having been recommended by Busch, as well as Aric Almirola (two), Denny Hamlin (one) and Travis Kvapil (one) have driven the #51 this season, and all have made productive contributions. Ickler was third at Michigan and fifth at Kansas, Almirola was second at Iowa and eighth at Las Vegas, Hamlin sixth at the second Martinsville race and Kvapil was eleventh at Nashville.

Hornaday, meanwhile, has a 202-point lead over second-placed Matt Crafton in the drivers' championship, but also wants to bring home a title to Kevin and DeLana Harvick.

“Matt Crafton isn't our worry,” Hornaday said, “We are worried about the #51. He is fighting for the owners' points, and he's the guy we're racing too.”

There are also bragging rights for most wins this season at stake over the final three races, as Hornaday also has six.

by Tim Tuttle / Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service


Tagged as: Kyle Busch , truck , billy ballew

Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch and Crasftsman Truck team owner Billy Ballew   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with champagne and crew chief Tony Gibson in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, wins, causing his crew to celebrate Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory with a burn-out Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Busch is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Wix Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, leads the field in a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, poses after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 10, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

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