NASCAR Truck Series

Kyle Busch to make Truck road course debut at COTA

2 Mins read
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Kyle Busch has the most wins in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history by a wide margin with 61, but none of them have come on a road course. He hopes to change that on 26 March when he races at Circuit of the Americas in the #51 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Kyle Busch Motorsports. KBM announced his entry on Tuesday, shortly after Busch quipped on Twitter that he should drive a freshly wrapped #51 Safelite-sponsored truck. Safelite will sponsor both Busch’s #51 and Chandler Smith‘s #18.

COTA will be Busch’s first career Truck start on a road course. Such tracks were not on the Truck schedule during the formative years of his NASCAR national series career in the early 2000s; Watkins Glen International was the last Truck road race when it was removed after the 2000 season while Busch made his series début a year later. Road courses finally returned with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2013, but its status as a standalone race in Canada and arrival well after Busch became a Cup Series regular meant he never raced there.

A Daytona Road Course race was added in 2020 to replace the COVID-cancelled Mosport event, but NASCAR restricted drivers to running in just one series for the weekend. Although the 2021 schedule had three road courses at Daytona, COTA, and Watkins Glen, he opted not to run Daytona while COTA and Watkins Glen were off-limits for Cup drivers as a Triple Truck Challenge round and regular season finale, respectively. The 2021 calendar also included a date at Mosport that was called off, though he would not have been eligible to take part as it was a playoff race.

While he never lugged a truck across left and right turns, Busch is more than familiar with doing so in Cup and Xfinity Series cars. He has four road course wins in the Cup Series with two apiece at Sonoma and Watkins Glen as well as four Xfinity victories. One of his Xfinity triumphs came in the inaugural NASCAR weekend at COTA in 2021, where he led all but eleven laps from the pole. The other trips to an Xfinity Victory Lane came at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Road America, and Watkins Glen.

As a Cup driver, Busch is only allowed to run five Truck races per year; he finished second in his first start of 2022 at Las Vegas to Smith. With the exceptions of two twenty-first-place finishes at Atlanta, Busch has not finished lower than second in his last twenty-two Truck starts dating back to Bristol 2017. As of now, he is not expected to run any Xfinity races, having surpassed 100 career wins there last year with 102 total, though he could return depending on sponsorship.

Busch is currently second in the Cup standings with top tens in three of four races.

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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