Friday, December 11, 2009

Kyle Busch jumps into the Truck Series by starting KBM.

Earlier today live on SPEED, NASCAR’s bad boy and 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch announced that he is starting a two-truck team to compete full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2010. He will bring along legendary and 2009 NASCAR Truck Series champion crew chief Rick Ren to run the day to day operations.

The driver lineup will include Tayler Malsam who will run full-time in the # 56 Toyota Tundra, while Brian Ickler and of course Kyle Busch will share driving duties in the #18 Miccosukee Resort & Gaming Toyota Tundra Truck.

There is also a possibility the KBM will field a third team in 2010 with Johnny Benson if sponsorship can be found. As Kyle Busch continues to build his race shop in Mooresville, NC, he has purchased the #16 Xpress Motorsports Truck Series team and will use that race shop for now. The teams will have support from Joe Gibbs Racing to help with the possibility of running a third team

I have to say that I’m surprised to see that especially in this economy that a business person would want or have the support to start a new team. Although it doesn’t surprise me that Rick Ren would join the team. Many crew chiefs are looking to move up the latter after so many years and if you are going to start a team, a former crew chief like Rick Ren is a great place to start, he has seen it all and brings with him two truck series championships.

However in looking at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, in my opinion, it’s a series that while it puts on good racing across the board from Daytona to Homestead, the outlook of the series doesn’t look so promising. The Truck series has seen several teams close down like Roush-Fenway Racing or downsize as well as a lack of manufacturer support and sponsorship in the series. One thing many fans of the series including myself have seen in this past season is a lot of blank trucks racing in the series.

But at the same time, I would like to see the series succeed, however I will mention that my thinking one year ago was merging the Truck Series with the also hurting NASCAR Nationwide Series would be the only way to save, improve the outlook of one series. I don’t know what this announcement is going to do for the series, but if a driver has this much convince in the truck series, then it might look better to some other owners and sponsors to do the same.

It is too early to say what the team is going to do, but expectations look pretty high especially when Kyle Busch is the owner and driver. I would say that KBM will win a race in 2010, but is going to take some time to get the teams to gel and be consistent. I will also be watching Kyle Busch himself and how he acts considering he will be answering to sponsors now.