NASCAR »

Busch brothers team up for Nationwide

Kyle was asked how well the two volatile brothers could possibly get on in an owner/driver relationship, with Kurt having become known in 2011 for his tirades over the team radio directed at his previous car owner Roger Penske.

"It depends on how much of a respect level he has for me," responded Kyle. "I've got the utmost respect for Kurt and that's why I offered him this opportunity and that it came together." Tongue-in-cheek, he added: "I also think that I weigh 180 pounds, he weighs 145 pounds so I think I've got a little bit on him!"

"Kyle has done an impressive job in building this race team and I'm proud to be part of it," insisted Kurt in reply. "It's a key deal for both of us. He's a champion, I'm a champion. He's the most winningest driver in Nationwide. That says it all about Kyle and how he drives and his intensity behind the wheel always shines through. I have the same fire in the belly."

Kyle added that the Nationwide drives in the #54 will be his only non-Cup outings in 2012, and that he won't be running any races for his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team operation this year, following strong advice from his Cup team owner Joe Gibbs. Instead, Kyle has signed Jason Leffler to drive his team's truck in 14 races so far confirmed this season; a possible deal to field a second truck for NASCAR Mexico champion German Quiroga now looks unlikely, Kyle added.

Kyle will also no longer be driving the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide car in 2012, having been stood down from the car toward the end of last year following Kyle's own brush with controversy when he was suspended from a weekend of NASCAR racing after intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in a Truck race at Texas. The decision now leaves him free to concentrate instead on his Cup duties and on Kyle Busch Motorsport's maiden year in NASCAR's second-tier championship.

"Joe is not necessarily a fan of us, but he's open to it," said Kyle when asked how his Cup team owner felt about his driver going into competition with JGR in Nationwide. "He understands, too, this is Kyle Busch Motorsports, and there's a family of people that work here that need to have an income, and we put food on the table for a lot of people.

"We want to see this place be around for a long time," added Kyle of the KBM business he started two years ago. "It's a beautiful facility and near and dear to my heart. I didn't inherit this. This is something I've been building."

Kurt has already announced a "limited number" of Nationwide races with Phoenix that include the restrictor-plate events at Daytona and Talladega, and any more will presumably now have to fit around his drives in the KBM #54. With Phoenix being a Chevy-powered team and KBM being in the Toyota stable, Kurt has had to obtain special permission to cross manufacturer lines to run both engines in the same season.

"I just have to respect who each are with the Toyota brand and their information and the Chevrolet people as well," agreed Kurt. "We need to understand that line of information, and I'm here to respect that. This is one of the first times you'll see a driver bouncing between manufacturers."

KBM has hired proven industry veteran Mike Beam to lead the team for the Busch brothers, fresh from winning the 2011 Nationwide owners' championship with Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing. Edwards previously announced he was pulling out of Nationwide racing in 2012, leaving Beam at a loose end at RFR until the offer from Busch arrived.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kurt Busch celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole for the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway, his third consecutive pole position. [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch on the grid for the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway - June 2011. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kurt Busch leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 on his way to winning on Sunday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. [Picture Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR]
#M&M`s Toyota driven by Kyle Busch [Picture Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kurt Busch in the cockpit of the #22 [Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch at Darlington. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch (right) announces the signing of his brother Kurt to race with him in the Kyle Busch Motorsports #54 Nationwide Series car in 2012. [Picture Credit: Kyle Busch Motorsports]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.