February 22, 2009
Ballew's Boys Bring Busch Back To Victory Lane
Kyle "Rowdy" Busch piloting the No. 51 Miccosukee Resort Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota Tundra posted back to back wins Saturday after winning the San Bernardino County 200 NASCAR Camping World race at the Auto Club Speedway.
Busch, who won the 2008 event returned with chassis No. 11 putting the truck on the pole for the 100 lap, 200-mile race on the 2-mile Fontana, California race track with a time of 41.341 seconds at a speed of 174.161mph.
From the start of the race Busch easily took and held the point position for 95 of the 100 lap event breaking the old record for number of laps led of 93.
"This thing was just flawless," Busch said. "This one is for Doug (George, crew chief) back here -- this is Doug George's first win as a crew chief. They worked awfully hard all winter on this thing. This is truck No. 11 -- this is old reliable. Guys just did a flawless job -- they worked so well and made this truck drive so good. It's a lot of these guys first win, as a matter of fact. That's special to have everyone here today. Fortunately for me, we've had a few strong runs like that. I did it last year in the Nationwide Series. We had another strong run at ORP (O'Reilly Raceway Park) -- I think we led all but five or eight laps there. This is pretty special. I love coming out to California. The fans are great and I got to thank them for coming out and supporting our deal. (This team) It feels like it's almost a part of me -- this team that I'm a part of. It almost feels like it is Kyle Busch Motorsports - how close-knit all these guys are and I spend a lot of time with them in the shop. Billy Ballew is just a great part of this deal and he makes it happen for us. He busts his butt throughout the week to make sure we get to the race track. This is a flawless day today. Hopefully, we can have some more. It was a great day for us. It was a lot of fun to race up there and to run like that with our Toyota Tundra. Every one of our Miccosukee guys that worked so hard through the off-season to get our stuff running so well like that. Doug (George, crew chief) has done a phenomenal job and all the guys at the shop have done a wonderful job for me. It's fun like that and for Billy (Ballew, team owner) to keep carrying this deal like he has and keep giving us the opportunity to go out there and have fun, it means a lot. To win, that's what we love to do the most and to do it in a fashion like that means the world."
Busch was led by veteran driver and crew chief Doug George who called the shots from the pit box bringing Busch down pit road on lap 24 for tires returning for his second stop of fuel. Busch dominated the event returning only to pit road on lap 93 for fuel, enough to finish the event.
George scoring his first win as a crew chief is just the fourth winning crew chief to have also driven in the NASCAR Camping World Series. The others are Ernie Cope, Bob Keselowski and Andy Petree. Kesolowski is the only one to have won as an owner driver and crew chief. George has 56 starts in the series with a best finish of 5th at Sonoma, 1996.
"We started out the season going to Daytona running second to Todd (Bodine) and then coming here and dominating the race -- it's a great team effort," George said. "The Billy Ballew and Miccosukee Resort Toyota Tundra team has worked hard on the off season and we're still trying to make our stuff better so we can get to Atlanta and maybe sweep up there a little bit. Everything is going pretty good. I know it's been tough for everybody out there and we appreciate Camping World coming in here and helping out the series."
Busch also became the first driver in NASCAR history to win two national series races in one day Saturday after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series San Bernardino County 200 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway. According to NASCAR Loop Statistical Data Busch had perfect Driver Rating* of 150.0 in both NASCAR Series at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
Busch is slated to drive in 15 of the 25 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events hold the 2009 Championship Points lead by five points over Todd Bodine.