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Busch to make 100th Cup start at Watkins Glen

 

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 2007) – After competing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for nearly four years, Kyle Busch will make his 100th career start this Sunday at Watkins Glen International.

Busch made his first Cup start on March 7, 2004 at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the age of 18. Since then, he has posted four wins, 24 top-five finishes and 42 top-10s in addition to earning two poles.

“I wish I had more wins for the amount of races I’ve run, but it’s gone really fast for me,” Busch said. “I’m lucky to be this young and to have such a successful career. It would be awesome to celebrate my 100th start with my fifth win.”

Adding to his already impressive résumé, Busch, 22, is also the youngest race winner, pole sitter and rookie of the year in Cup history. Earlier this season at Bristol, Tenn., he notched Chevrolet’s 600th victory and became the first driver to win a “Car of Tomorrow” event.

Busch will pilot the No. 5 CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Impala SS this weekend at Watkins Glen, where he finished ninth in last year’s race.

“The biggest thing about Watkins Glen is to handle well,” Busch said. “There are some fast corners and you have to handle down the straightaways. It’s fast and it’s a right-hand road course so you have to get through the few left-handers to get some decent lap times.

“At Watkins Glen, the course is pretty flat and we will have 17.5-gallon fuel cells this time around. Last year, we had 22 gallons and we were able to make it on two stops. This year, we might need to go for three stops. Most of the course is uphill.”

In June, Busch earned his career-best road-course finish in a NEXTEL Cup event at Infineon Raceway, where he landed an eighth-place result. He has not finished worse than 11th in a Cup road-course event since 2005.

Thanks to the heavy testing Hendrick Motorsports has participated in this year, including sessions with road-course ace Max Papis, crew chief Alan Gustafson is optimistic about his CARQUEST/Kellogg’s Chevrolet team’s chances at the 2.45-mile track.

“I have to thank Max Papis and Rex Stump (Hendrick Motorsports engineer) for all the testing that went into the road-course events this year,” Gustafson said. “I really think we have a great shot at it this weekend.

“Kyle ran well at Road Atlanta (during testing) last week and we ran well at Infineon, so unless something crazy happens I think we’ll have a great run. We will have to see how the fuel mileage shakes out, but it’s sure to throw everyone for a loop on pit strategy.”

The NEXTEL Cup race at Watkins Glen will air live Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET.

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