Young Busch Tackles Cup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick today announced that 18-year-old Kyle Busch will attempt to qualify for six NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races in 2004 with support from primary sponsor CARQUEST Auto Parts, the official auto parts supplier of Hendrick Motorsports since 2002.

"The folks at CARQUEST have been wonderful partners and we are excited about their expanded role with us in 2004," Hendrick said. "This is going to be a great chance for Kyle to gain some valuable experience by racing with and learning from the best drivers in NASCAR. I think it's really going to benefit his development."

In conjunction with its support of Busch in the No. 84 Chevrolets (formerly the No. 60), CARQUEST will become a major associate sponsor of the No. 25 Nextel Cup team of driver Brian Vickers. CARQUEST backed Vickers and the championship-winning No. 5 NASCAR Busch Series team as a major associate in 2003.

"All of us at CARQUEST Auto Parts are proud to continue our association with Hendrick Motorsports as their official auto parts supplier," said Art Lottes III, president of CARQUEST. "Hendrick Motorsports is a world-class organization and we look forward in 2004 to continued success with Brian Vickers and our new relationship with Kyle Busch."

Busch will aim to qualify for his first-ever Nextel Cup event at his hometown track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, followed by efforts at Texas Motor Speedway in April and Lowe's Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend in May. During the second half of the season, the No. 84 CARQUEST team will enter races at New Hampshire International Speedway in July, Michigan International Speedway in August and California Speedway on Labor Day weekend in September.

In addition, Busch will attempt to make the field for the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge, a non-points event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. "I appreciate the opportunity CARQUEST and the Hendrick family have provided," said Busch, who will also run a full-time Busch Series schedule in 2004.

"Learning first-hand from my teammates and the other Cup drivers is going to be great experience. I'm just looking forward to being on the race track with them."

With seven career Busch Series races under his belt, Busch has posted a pair of runner-up finishes, three top-10 showings and five top-10 starts. He also earned two victories and trio of pole positions in 2003 ARCA Series competition.

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