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Busch team adds Nationwide run
Kyle Busch Motorsports is expanding its operation to include a NASCAR Nationwide Series effort in 2012.
Busch announced on Friday that KBM was “transitioning” into NNS “to go race a full-funded team for the championship.”
"(I'm) excited about it," Busch said. "It's a great opportunity for myself and Kyle Busch Motorsports, for everybody that (is) there now, that we have on the line to hire ... in order (for) that program (to be) successful.
“We’re excited. It’s a great day for us. Crew chiefs, sponsors, drivers -- all that stuff will be announced at a later time.”
KBM provided a car for former Formula One champ Kimi Raikkonen through a partnership with NEMCO Motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. Raikkonen finished 27th, but sources say the wheels were put into motion for Busch’s expansion plans.
Busch also acknowledged that KBM will continue to field a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck program in 2012. KBM has experienced tremendous success with the No. 18 Toyota Tundra. In 56 starts, Busch’s team has 15 wins.
“We will keep the one (No.) 18 truck going for a full season next year,” Busch said. “We are just a few races shy (of) being full sponsorship on that deal. Obviously, last week with Dollar General -- announcing those guys coming back to help us with the Truck series program and, you know, with the driver and all that kinds of stuff, it’s all pretty much done.
“It’s just a matter of waiting until the time in which the sponsor is ready to announce all that stuff.””
While Busch remained mum on his lineup of drivers and sponsors next season, Ricky Carmichael as well as Monster Energy have been mentioned as a distinct possibility.
Carmichael, known at the “GOAT” (greatest of all time) for his achievements in Motocross, currently drives a truck for Turner Motorsports. He began his NASCAR career driving trucks for Kevin Harvick Inc. in 2009 and has competed with Turner for the last two seasons.
Carmichael, 31, is currently 15th in the Camping World Truck Series points standings. He won the pole this season in Atlanta and posted season-high finishes of sixth at Kentucky Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway
Carmichael has competed in seven Nationwide races over the last two seasons, with a career-best finish of ninth at Elkhart Lake in June.
Busch said earlier this month that nothing in his contract would preclude him from competing in his own equipment while continuing to run for Joe Gibbs Racing. While KBM will run for a championship, Busch isn't sure which it will pursue just yet.
“It will be easy to go for an owner’s (championship) if I’m racing the car, but not very easy to go for a driver’s if I am racing the car,” Busch said. “I don’t know if I’m in it or not yet.”
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