By admin | April 17, 2012
By Richard Allen
When it was announced that Kyle Busch Motorsports was going to branch out into the Nationwide Series with brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch sharing the driving duties it seemed like an almost certain winning situation. And winning seemed even more likely for the two talented drivers when proven veteran crew chief Mike Beam was brought in to head up the operation.
However, things have certainly not gone as the siblings would have hoped so far in 2012.
In the season opening Nationwide event in Daytona, Kyle drove the new KBM Toyota while Kurt drove for James Finch, his Sprint Cup car owner. The brothers worked as a team in the 2×2 tandem draft for much of the day and going into the third turn of the last lap it looked as if one of them would be the first to get back to the finish line. But at the exit of turn four both sat idle on the 2.5 mile speedway with mangled race cars.
Since then, it has hardly gotten better for the #54 Monster Energy team.
So far, Kyle has driven the car five times with one meager top-10 finish to show for his efforts while Kurt has driven only once in the most recent race in Texas. After qualifying 6th, the older of the brothers fought and ill handling car much of the night before bouncing off the wall and ultimately finishing 30th.
The combined efforts of Kyle and Kurt have placed their car in the 15th spot in Nationwide owners points, 97 points out of first place.
To further hinder the fledgling team’s progress, they have no real connection to any Sprint Cup organization. The two cars currently sitting atop the owner standings in NASCAR second series(the #2 of Richard Childress Racing and the #6 of Roush Fenway Racing) do have those ties to the resources available at the sport’s highest level.
And unfortunately for KBM, the misfortune suffered by their Nationwide team has spread to their Camping World Truck Series team. Driver Jason Leffler scored an 8th place finish in Martinsville but that is book ended by results of 36th and 34th in Daytona and Rockingham respectively.
This past weekend of Nationwide Series racing in Texas and Camping World Truck Series racing in Rockingham served as somewhat of a microcosm of the 2012 season for Kyle Busch Motorsports so far. The organization is caught in the midst of a terrible slump. The talent in place there would make it seem unlikely the slump will last for any prolonged period of time. However, the lack of close ties with any Sprint Cup team could hamper the team’s progress.
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