Truck Series Return for Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has four Truck Series victories at Atlanta in his career. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Kyle Busch will make his return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series action in tonight’s Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The 27-year-old hasn’t made a Truck Series start since last November, when he was parked by NASCAR for the rest of the weekend after an on-track incident with Ron Hornaday Jr. at Texas Motor Speedway.

Early in the race, the two drivers were battling for the second-place position when they made contact, sending Busch’s TRAXXAS Toyota into the outside wall. During the caution, Busch retaliated by spinning Hornaday’s Chevrolet head-on into the wall, which wrecked both of their trucks and ended Hornaday’s championship hopes. Kyle Busch

There have been 14 races since the incident, but Busch will take the wheel of the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra tonight.

Busch has been victorious in 29.7 percent of the Truck races that he has entered throughout his career. With 30 wins in 101 starts, Busch trails none other than Hornaday (with 51) for the all-time win record.

Hornaday is also the defending event winner at Atlanta, but Busch was not far behind with a third-place finish last September. Busch, himself, has reached Victory Lane four times at the 1.54-mile oval so he knows what it takes to succeed.

“It’s an exciting place that definitely puts a premium on handling -- being able to get your truck to drive good through the corner and trying to say in the gas as long as you can,” Busch said. “A lot of the other mile-and-a-half tracks that we go to, you can run wide open all the time and everyone is running similar lap times, but this weekend you’ll see a bigger separation between the fast guys and the guys who are off a little bit. To be successful you need to have a good balance of horsepower and handling.

“There are a lot of circumstances that it can come down to at the end. In last year’s race, Clint (Bowyer) and I ran first and second pretty much all race long and then Hornaday ended up winning the race on file mileage.”

In addition to Hornaday, Busch will also have another rival in tonight’s race. His older brother, Kurt, will team with Kyle’s previous owner, Billy Bellew, to drive the No. 51 Chevrolet. It will mark the first time that the two brothers compete in the same Truck Series race.

“By the time I got to the Truck Series, Kurt had already established himself in the (Sprint) Cup Series,” the younger Busch said. “For whatever reason, he didn’t really run any Nationwide or Truck Series races, so we never got the chance to race against each other in NASCAR until I made it to the Cup Series.

“It will be really cool to be competing against each other in the trucks -- it’s such a fun series to race in. How exciting would it be to see things come down to a battle of me versus Kurt for the win?”

Qualifying is set for 4:35 p.m. (ET) and Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of tonight's Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 starting at 8 p.m. The 130-lap event will be streamed live online at www.motorracingnetwork.com.

Photo: Getty Images

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