CARQUEST Racing and Kyle Busch Ready for Loudon
- Jul 21, 2004
LOUDON, N.H. (July 21, 2004) – After a successful test session and a much-needed vacation, Kyle Busch and the No. 84 CARQUEST Racing team are rested and ready to tackle New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday.
The race—dubbed the Siemens 300—will mark Busch’s third career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event after successful starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway earlier this season.
The 19-year-old Las Vegas native, who is currently second in the championship standings at the NASCAR Busch Series level, joined his CARQUEST Racing team for a July 5 test session at New Hampshire before enjoying a brief vacation as the circuit took a weekend hiatus.
Accompanying the team to NHIS was Lance McGrew, Busch’s crew chief in the Busch Series, who assisted Gary DeHart, leader of the No. 84 group.
“The test was excellent,” Busch said. “Lance and Gary were both there. Working with me every week, Lance knows what I need, so it really helped having him available. Every adjustment improved the car, so we were able to get faster.
“Coming away from it, I felt really good about the lap times we were running compared to the other guys that were there—Ryan Newman and Jeremy Mayfield. We all feel like we’ll go back and be competitive.”
After two outings in the No. 84 CARQUEST Chevrolets, the team is ready to establish some consistency in Busch’s four remaining NEXTEL Cup races this year. For New Hampshire, the goals are relatively simple.
“So far, we haven’t been able to both qualify and finish in the top-20, so that’s a goal we’re looking toward,” Busch said. “We’re mainly trying to build consistency so we can be near the front a little bit and try to see how those guys race.
“It would be nice to run with them and see what it takes to be up there on a regular basis.”
Busch will not only start his third career NEXTEL Cup event this weekend, but he will also enter Saturday’s Busch Series contest in his regular ride—the No. 5 Chevrolet. Even with the added demands on his time, the young driver knows his double-duty weekends are part of a natural progression.
“I get to be in the car more, so I like that,” Busch said. “It doesn’t put any added pressure on me. Time constraints are a little bit different, but it’s not too bad.
“It’s the best possible way to gain more experience and try to improve. That’s my priority right now—just to get better.”
And get better he has.
Busch began the Busch Series season by finishing 24th at Daytona International Speedway in February. In the 18 races since, he’s recorded 12 top-10 finishes, including a string of 10 straight, along with eight top-fives, four pole positions and three victories. One of those wins was the May 29 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
In the Cup Series, Busch struggled in his first outing, finishing 41st at Las Vegas, but followed that with 393 laps of solid track time at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This weekend, he will look to build on that experience at Loudon’s 1.058-mile oval.
Along with his tandem of championship-winning crew chiefs, the young talent also has the ability to seek advice from his teammates—Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson—who share a combined seven NASCAR titles.
Johnson, the current NEXTEL Cup points leader, could be especially helpful. He’s won the last two Cup events at New Hampshire.
Sunday’s 300-mile Siemens 300 will be broadcast live from NHIS by TNT and MRN Radio beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.