HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Busch will have his first of five shots this season at becoming the all-time wins leader in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on Saturday at one of his best tracks.
Busch currently sits tied with four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. at the top of the wins list, with 51 career victories. He’ll look to edge ahead in Saturday’s Ultimate Tailgating 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he has four wins in 10 series starts.
A year ago, Busch appeared to be on his way to victory lane in the Atlanta Truck Series event, but lost a left-rear wheel during his final pit stop and was relegated out of contention.
Now, Busch will return to Atlanta with a familiar face atop his pit box, as he reunites with veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle for the first time in six years.
“I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Cessna Tundra for the first time this season,” said Busch. “We had a really fast truck in last year’s race, but an untimely caution and miscue on the last pit stop kept us from getting to victory lane.
“Saturday’s going to be a bit of a reunion race for me as I’ll have Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) as my crew chief for a Truck Series race for the first time since 2013, when we won five races together,” he added. “I think that’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to getting back to racing in the Truck Series.”
Busch drew even with Hornaday during his final Truck Series start last season at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, making Saturday’s race at Atlanta his first shot to break the wins record.
Of particular note going into this weekend’s Truck Series stop at Atlanta is the fact that Busch is still seeking his first victory at the 1.54-mile track in his own equipment.
All four of Busch’s prior Atlanta wins came before his opened KBM, when he was driving for now-retired Truck Series owner Billy Ballew. The pairing scored nearly a third of Busch’s Truck Series wins together.
Busch will look to write a new page in Truck Series history on Saturday, with Ballew once again involved in his on-track effort.
“So we’re going to have Billy Ballew’s car dealership, that’s located in Dawsonville, onboard as an associate sponsor for this race,” Busch noted. “I won four times in Billy’s truck at Atlanta when I drove for him, so hopefully he’ll be a good luck charm.
“If we are able to get to victory lane this week and break the wins record, it’ll be cool to have Billy be a part of it, since he was the owner for my first 16 truck wins before I started KBM.”