Busy Schedule Ahead For Busch

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CONCORD, N.C. - Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports announced that 2005 NEXTEL Cup Series rookie of the year Kyle Busch will drive the No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet in every NASCAR Busch Series race in 2006.

Busch is the sixth driver to commit to full NEXTEL Cup and Busch programs in 2006, joining Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley.

"It's good to be back in the Lowe's Chevrolet and back full time in the Busch Series," said Busch, who was Busch Series Rookie of the Year and finished second in the championship standings in 2004.

"Hopefully we can repeat the success we had in my first season. I love the Busch Series, so I'm excited that Lowe's, its vendor partners and especially Lowe's employees are enthusiastic about having me back. I know it's going to make for a pretty hectic schedule, but I'm a racer. The more I race, the happier I am."

Busch, 20, has six career Busch Series victories -- all in the No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet, including a win at Lowe's Motor Speedway last May.

Busch drove a partial Busch Series schedule last season, logging a pole, the win and three top-10 finishes in 14 starts while competing full time in the NEXTEL Cup Series, where he won twice.

Busch will continue in the No. 5 Nextel Cup Series car in addition to his new Busch Series duties for Hendrick Motorsports.

"Kyle Busch is a phenomenal talent, and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports is excited about having him back in the No. 5 Lowe's Chevy," Hendrick Motorsports' general manager Marshall Carlson said. "We're honored to represent Lowe's and their vendors in the Busch Series, and we've prepared to perform against a very competitive field next season."

Chad Walter, who was named as crew chief of the No. 5 team in September, will return to lead Busch's team in its fifth season of Busch Series competition.

"I'm looking forward to the upcoming season for a lot of reasons," Walter said. "We have a talented young driver in Kyle and great sponsors in Lowe's and their vendor partners. It should be a fun year for us. Our goal is to win races and contend for a championship."

The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team began competing in the Busch Series in 2002 with driver/team owner Ricky Hendrick. When Hendrick retired from driving near the end of the 2002 season, he chose Brian Vickers as his replacement for 2003. Vickers rewarded Hendrick's decision, posting three wins in the No. 5 on his way to claiming the 2003 Busch Series championship.

Busch took over driving duties in the No. 5 in 2004. Busch had one of the most impressive rookie seasons in NASCAR history that year, shattering multiple Busch Series rookie records on his way to a runner-up finish in the points standings behind Martin Truex Jr.

Last season, Busch and six other drivers shared seat time in the No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet.

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