KBM working to solidify 2014 truck program
November 11, 2013, Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com
The Phoenix weekend hardly could have gone better for Kyle Busch, whose low point was a seventh-place finish in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
On Saturday, Busch won his sixth NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the one-mile track. A day earlier, 17-year-old Erik Jones notched his first victory in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports.
That marked the second time in three weeks a driver other than Busch himself had won in a KBM truck. With his victory on Oct. 26 at Martinsville, NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Darrell Wallace Jr. became the first African-American driver in nearly 50 years to win a race in one of NASCAR's three national series.
Both Jones' and Wallace's victories were welcome news to KBM, which is working to solidify its program for 2014.
"It shows that our team is capable of running up front, capable of winning with younger drivers, younger talent, not just Cup guys like myself or Denny [Hamlin]," Busch said after his NASCAR Nationwide win. "I think it proves our capabilities and what KBM is all about. We've understood and now recognize that the trucks is a capable playground for us that we can be competitive at.
"We feel like we have a good handle on the trucks, and that's where we're going to put our focus. We're really looking forward to bringing Darrell back next year. It's not final yet, but we're close and looking to have two of those trucks."
Busch expects to run Wallace full-time next season and to split time with Jones, who can't be approved for tracks longer than one mile, with the exception of road courses, until he turns 18 on May 30.
"My idea in the grand scheme of things, in a perfect world, would be me run 10-12 races and then Erik Jones fill in the other 10-12, whatever those race tracks are that he can run, mile and under and however the schedule lays out. Then, see Darrell full-time in the 54 truck."