Busch Seeks International Hat Trick

Kyle Busch

“One of the reasons I wanted to run this race is to win in three different countries." (Photo: Getty Images)

Kyle Busch hopes to add a victory in Canada to his resume with a win in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

A victory in Montreal would give Busch NASCAR wins in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Busch was triumphant in Mexico City back in 2008 when he took the checkered flag in a Nationwide event at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez. He’ll make his second visit to the famed Montreal venue this weekend with a trip to Victory Lane in his sights.

“One of the reasons I wanted to run this race is to win in three different countries," Busch said. "I am not sure, but I don’t think any other NASCAR driver has done that before, so it would be really cool."

Busch knows he’ll have his hands full trying to win in the star-studded field that includes Nationwide Series regulars like Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and road-racing aces Alex Tagliani, Ron Fellows and Jacques Villeneuve.

But Busch is up for the challenge and is hoping last week’s top-10 run at Watkins Glen International will help the cause north of the border.

However, Busch also realizes the differences between competing at the two road circuits.

“Well, the car, for one thing,” he said. “We made so many adjustments to chassis No. 001 and feel like it’s set up well for another road-course run, that we are bringing back the same ride. The Montreal track won’t have as much speed or as many inclines and declines as The Glen did, but the car will be adjusted for a slightly more flat surface.

“We overcame some big hurdles last week, let’s hope this week we can be up front again and show that our road-course program is getting stronger.”

One hurdle Busch will have this week is going back and forth from Michigan, where he’ll compete in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400, and Montreal.

The Kyle Busch Motorsports team has tabbed Owen Kelly to practice the No. 54 Camry in Montreal while Busch is in Michigan on Friday for Cup qualifying.

"Owen has been a road-course test driver for Marcos Ambrose in Montreal before,” explained crew chief Mike Beam. “He practiced second and third fastest in practice sessions and qualified Marcos (Ambrose)'s race-winning car ninth last year, so his track record is good.

"Owen is also relatively close in size to Kyle, so the seat, pedals, etc. should all be the same. This is a similar format we used for Kurt (Busch), with Colin Braun at Road America, and we look for good things from Owen this weekend.”

Despite the hectic schedule and challenging logistics, Busch isn’t concerned about missing any practice or his car not being competitive in Saturday’s race around the 2.75-mile road course.

“It is not concerning to miss practice, because I feel I have a really good practice driver in Owen, who can set up the car well and get me a good for the race,” Busch said.

Race Center

U.S. Cellular 250

@ Iowa Speedway
Saturday, August 02, 2014 7:30 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
ESPN, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

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