20 January 2012
Busch brothers team up for Nationwide
"I was always known as Kurt's younger brother," explained Kyle. "We kind of stayed separate early on in our tenure of Cup racing just because I've tried to come out with another identity.
"Since I've developed that and to be able to branch my own brand, it makes sense for us now to become brothers again, if you will," added Kyle. "Be able to go out there and race together, have fun, put him in my race cars and hopefully have him go out there and reach some success."
"It should just say 'Busch Brothers' on the roof of the car," added Kurt. "This gives us a chance to buddy up on something that's more than just driving ... We'll have a lot of fun this year."
"Fun" seems to be the key word for Kurt in 2012, who says that after a turbulent and unhappy season last year, his aim now with his new Cup team, James Finch's Phoenix Racing, is "just going to the track ... getting back to old-school racing, having fun with it, the pressure is not there."
"The first day when I was at [Phoenix], Finch was there, we all looked at each other like we were done talking, it was quarter to four," he recalled. "I said, 'where's your beer cooler around here?' We went and cracked open a couple beers and started chitchatting the rest of the day about fun stories. That's what this is going to be about for me in 2012."
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the arrangement with Kyle is that the potentially combustible combination of siblings has managed to attract an entire season of high-profile, big-money sponsorship. Only last week, racing legend Richard Petty suggested that he'd passed on signing up Kurt for the vacant seat in the Richard Petty Motorports #43 car (since taken by Aric Almirola) because sponsors were too nervous to be associated with the elder Busch any more. That follows his fiery outbursts in 2011 that culminated up with the 'mutual agreement' to terminate his contract with Penske Racing after the season concluded.
But the #54 car has indeed secured a multi-year agreement for full-season backing from sports drink brand Monster Energy, and will carry the company's distinctive green-on-black 'claw slash' logo that is already a familiar brand around the MotoGP paddock. Monster had previously been a sponsor for Ricky Carmichael in NASCAR, and Carmichael had been a possible contender for the #54 drive until Kyle went to Monster and suggested hiring Kurt for the job instead, an idea that the company immediately jumped at.
"When his opportunity came about, we collaborated on what we could do together and took it to Monster and they were like 'Hell, yeah, let's do this. Sign him on,"' said Kyle. "Everybody seemed like a perfect fit. Both of us seem to have that personable, edgy attitude, we just want to win, and that's what Monster is all about."
"It's just about getting to victory lane, that's what they want to see," added Kurt. "We're always out there going for the trophy, and sometimes we let that rough edge drag. It's just like [their logo] with the jagged edge. That's us."
"Monster Energy has always stood for competing and winning no matter what the sport," agreed the president of Monster Energy, Mark Hall. "To make this happen, we've always sought out the most determined, fearless and committed athletes for the Monster team. With the Busch brothers sharing the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports Monster Energy Camry, we have every reason to believe we have drivers capable of running up front every weekend." Monster is also likely to provide associate sponsorship for Kyle's #18 Cup car.
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