Pit Note 2: Kyle Busch Chases Second Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race Victory
Kyle Busch has a stellar resume at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning 16 races across NASCAR's three national series - and that doesn't include his win in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.
Busch entered Charlotte Motor Speedway's 60th year of racing as the defending Coca-Cola 600 winner. The driver of the No. 18 M&M's Hazelnut Toyota Camry also has eight NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and seven NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins at America's Home for Racing.
"I don't know what exactly suited me," Busch said of the speedway. "It took me forever to win here. I only have one Cup win, let's all remember that: One. But past that, Truck, Xfinity, it's been really, really good for me; we've been really fast here. It would certainly be nice to continue to keep up the winning ways in the Cup cars and win another All-Star Race here and win us another 600 (next Sunday). I don't know what's allowed me to run well here and win races here."
Busch has a lot of favorite memories about the All-Star Race, notably the 1997 event that was won by Jeff Gordon in the famed "T-Rex" Chevrolet out of Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon's No. 24 machine featured a paint scheme sporting logos of the movie "Jurassic Park," which included a Tyrannosaurus Rex on the hood. Gordon, coincidentally, was young Busch's favorite driver.
"I think T-Rex is probably the coolest one for me," Busch said. "I was a huge 'Jurassic Park' fan. I still am today. (Son) Brexton is as well. We've watched all the 'Jurassic Park,' all the 'Jurassic World' movies, so we love that. To see how dominant that car was, how fast that car was and being that it was Jeff Gordon - who was my favorite driver growing up as a kid - was pretty cool to watch. I loved that one."
Busch competed in the All-Star Race 11 times before winning two years ago.
"I always dreamed of being able to win an All-Star Race," Busch said. "Finally was able to get it done myself."
Of course, he'd love to have another All-Star Race trophy for his collection. He'll get the chance in Saturday's 35th running of the event - but first comes qualifying on Friday evening.
"Looking forward to have a good weekend here in the All-Star Race and going back to Victory Lane and winning a million bucks," Busch said. "We started out real rough and didn't quite unload off the truck as good as we wanted to, but we've made a lot of ground and made our car a lot better. Not really sure exactly how it stacks up yet with the competition, but we'll certainly find out tomorrow night."