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Kyle Busch Prepares for Michigan

  • Aug 17, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 17, 2004) – Kyle Busch is not your average 19-year-old.

While many in his age bracket are buckling down for a fall semester full of exams, the wide-eyed teenager is preparing for a different kind of test as his Hendrick Motorsports team gets ready for this weekend’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event.

Before making the trek to Brooklyn, Mich., site of Sunday’s GFS Marketplace 400, Busch and CARQUEST Racing will venture to Kentucky Speedway, where the team will prepare for Michigan International’s two-mile oval.

“The goal for the Kentucky test is just to learn a little bit about the car,” Busch said.  “We need to find out what changes really help it out, as far as getting the nose down and the attitude right.

“Figuring out those two areas is really going to help us get up to speed for Michigan.”

Getting “up to speed” hasn’t been a problem for the young driver this season.  With four victories and an equal number of pole positions after 22 of 34 events, he is currently second in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings while holding a commanding lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year rankings.

But rather than being satisfied with past accomplishments and an already successful year, Busch chooses to concentrate on what lies ahead, specifically his Busch-Cup double-duty schedule at Michigan.

“We’re shooting to put the No. 84 CARQUEST Chevy in the race and get some quality laps under our belts,” Busch said.  “We’ve had some struggles on the Cup side, but we’re focusing on the future and hopefully getting in the show.”

Busch, admittedly, has endured some rough outings on the NEXTEL Cup circuit, missing starts at Texas and New Hampshire this season.  But those experiences have been chalked up to the “learning curve” going into what looks to be his third career race at NASCAR’s most elite level.

Making 2004 even more rewarding for Busch has been the support he’s received from friends, family, teammates and sponsors.

“CARQUEST has been awesome,” Busch said of his primary backer in the NEXTEL Cup Series.  “I know they’ve got a big group coming to Michigan to cheer for us, so I want to go out there and do the best job I can possibly do for them.

“They’ve given such great support, not only to myself, but also to Hendrick Motorsports as an organization.  It’s going to be a fun weekend, and hopefully one they can be proud of.”

Sunday’s GFS Marketplace 400 will be broadcast live from Michigan International Speedway by TNT and MRN Radio beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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