Kyle will carry Busch banner in Nationwide race in Joliet
BY TINA AKOURIS email@example.com July 20, 2012 10:48PM
The partnership between Kurt (left) and Kyle Busch in the Nationwide Series has been squabble-free. | Getty Images
NASCAR in Joliet
What: Camping World Truck American Ethanol 225 and Nationwide STP 300. | Where: Chicagoland Speedway
Tickets: Call (888) 629-7223 or visit www.chicagolandspeedway.com
• ARCA qualifying, 9:30 a.m. | • Nationwide practice, 11:10 a.m.
• Nationwide final practice, 1 p.m. | • Camping World Truck qualifying, 2:35 p.m. | • ARCA Ansell ActivArmr 150, 4 p.m. (Speed)
• American Ethanol 225, 7 p.m. (Speed)
• Nationwide qualifying, 10:35 a.m. | • STP 300, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
Updated: August 22, 2012 6:14AM
Kyle Busch might be the younger of the two Busch brothers, but he is older-brother Kurt’s boss at Kyle Busch Motorsports, and he didn’t hesitate to balk when Kurt asked for this weekend off.
“He said there was only one stipulation to the whole year, that he wanted this weekend off,” said Busch, who was at the House of Blues on Friday promoting a NASCAR interactive fan initiative. “I said, ‘Really? Because that’s my stipulation, too.’ I messed with him for about 30 minutes.”
So with Kurt Busch taking a week off, Kyle Busch will drive the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. There is no Sprint Cup race this weekend.
Busch, who is ninth in Nationwide owner points, also will have an entry in the Camping World Truck Series’ American Ethanol 225 on Saturday — Jason Leffler’s No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra.
When the brothers announced their Nationwide partnership, many in the garage area wondered how long this was going to last until they got into their first dustup. Both are notorious for their tempers. Kurt Busch was fired from Penske Racing at the end of last season after a verbal altercation with ESPN racing analyst Dr. Jerry Punch.
But so far, the only squabbles have come away from KBM headquarters. Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion, was suspended for the Sprint Cup race at Pocono on June 10 and had his NASCAR probation extended through the end of this season. He was verbally abusive to a Sporting News reporter after a Nationwide race at Dover on June 2.
“There was talk [of potential fights], but it never happened and they didn’t fight,” ESPN racing analyst Rusty Wallace said. “Now you see that Kurt is more aggressive behind the wheel, but I’ve heard nothing negative about them. I think their dynamic is working fine.”
On the track, Kurt Busch won at Richmond on April 27 for KBM and was second at Kentucky on June 29. Kurt won the Nationwide race at Daytona on July 6 for Phoenix Racing, his team in the Sprint Cup series.
“My relationship with Kurt is really good and he’s done a tremendous job with our sponsors,” Busch said. “There’s definitely competition between us and he does want to outdo me. He’s won a race so he’s outdone that part of it. But it’s a friendly-type deal. And I actually have a lot more fun being on the sidelines watching him run up front.”
Busch took a break this year and gave up racing trucks and is only part-time on the Nationwide circuit. In years past, Busch regularly raced in all three NASCAR series and ended the Cup season fatigued and short-tempered.
“I’m not as fatigued and I think that’s the main point,” Busch said. “Some weekends I’m a little bored not running around between the garage areas. But if we make the Chase [for the Sprint Cup Championship] it will feel different being relaxed and not so worn out.”