Kyle Busch Going Trucking
Kyle Busch announced on Friday that he will enter two Toyota Tundras full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series beginning in 2010.
Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), which has fielded Late Models for Busch and others the last three years, will step up to the Camping World Truck Series with youth behind the wheel and experience on top of the pit box.
Busch will pilot the No. 18 Miccosukee Resort & Gaming Toyota Tundra whenever the Camping World Truck Series runs in companion with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the non-companion races, the No. 18 Tundra will be driven by 24-year-old Brian Ickler (pronounced “IKE-ler”). Running the full schedule for KBM will be 20-year-old Tayler Malsam in the No. 56 Toyota Tundra.
“Everyone knows how much I love to race, and the Camping World Truck Series is one of my favorite places to race, so to be a team owner in this series is a perfect match,” said Busch, who has 16 career Camping World Truck Series victories and a combined 62 wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions. “We started KBM two years ago with the Late Model program and this seemed like the next natural step. I’m also very pleased with our driver lineup – having young and talented guys like Tayler Malsam and Brian Ickler.”
Busch recently purchased the assets of Xpress Motorsports, the Camping World Truck Series team that won in June at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and finished the 2009 season among the top-10 in points. KBM will operate from the Xpress Motorsports shop in Mooresville, N.C., until its new shop, also in Mooresville and currently under construction, is completed.
Overseeing the three-driver, two-Truck outfit will be Rick Ren, who will serve as the team’s director of competition. The 52-year-old from Tilton, Ill., is a NASCAR veteran who won two Camping World Truck Series championships as crew chief for Ron Hornaday Jr., (2007 and 2009) while at Kevin Harvick Inc.
“A person can work their whole career in any profession and not get an opportunity like this,” Ren said. “I’ve been involved in some other start-up, ground-floor programs, but not of this magnitude. It’s a great opportunity for me and everyone who will be a part of Kyle Busch Motorsports. There have been great racecar drivers, but Kyle has the opportunity to be one of the all-time greats. Getting the chance to help a guy like that who has a dream of building his own race team is an honor.”
“Rick Ren is an important part of what we’re trying to build at Kyle Busch Motorsports,” Busch added. “Rick has won multiple championships as a crew chief and is the perfect person to lead this race team and build it into an organization capable of winning races and contending for championships. His record speaks for itself, and in order for me to take on a team ownership role in the Camping World Truck Series, it was important to have the right people in place to make this work. Having Rick on board is a great first step in that process. It’s no secret how much I want to win as a driver, and I want to win as a team owner just as badly.”
Much of Busch’s success has come with Toyota. The talented 24-year-old has scored 41 of his 62 NASCAR victories with Toyota, and his Camping World Truck Series team will undoubtedly add to those numbers.
“We are excited to welcome Kyle Busch Motorsports to the Toyota racing family in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Lee White, president and general manager of TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development). “Kyle has demonstrated his passion for the sport through his determination and will to win on the racetrack, and creating this team is another big step forward in his racing career. Toyota has experienced significant success on the racetrack with Kyle since 2008, and we look forward to this expansion of our relationship.”
“It can be a little intimidating for a young guy like me to work for a guy like Kyle Busch, who has already done so much in his career,” said Malsam, whose path from his hometown of Sammamish, Wash., located just outside Seattle, to the Camping World Truck Series came via winged Sprint cars. “But we have a lot of the same characteristics in the way we drive, so I think it’s a good fit. And to have Rick Ren on board – he’s been successful wherever he’s been. To team with someone who has won two of the last three series championships is going to be awesome. And I’m proud to continue my relationship with Toyota. The support they give to each of their teams is impressive, and it shows by how many Tundras are usually running up front. This is going to be one of the best years of my life.”
“Kyle has done so much for my career by helping me get some experience in the Truck Series last year, along with some Late Model races for KBM,” said the San Diego-grown Ickler. “I’m really looking forward to racing for Kyle with all the success he’s had in the sport. I hope we can continue the winning tradition. Every ride I’ve had since I moved to North Carolina has been because of Kyle. He’s been able to get me some valuable seat time. I really can’t thank him enough for this new opportunity with KBM and to everyone at Toyota for their support as well. It’s just an honor to be a part of it all.”No Comment