Saturday NASCAR Notebook


CONCORD, N.C. - After Friday night's victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Kyle Busch has 15 national series wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but there's still a gaping hole in his racing resume.

Busch has won eight times in 24 starts at the 1.5-mile speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The other seven victories have come in Camping World Trucks.

That leaves Busch with a goose egg in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the sport's foremost division, and that's something driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry hopes to correct during Charlotte Speedweeks this year.

"It would mean a ton," said Busch, who will race in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28. "Anytime you can win here at Charlotte, it's in front of your friends, your family and your fans and everybody in the close area of the race shop.

"I would certainly love to do that, and we've talked about it for a lot of years, but just haven't been able to score that win."


The Smash Mouth lyrics "Hey, man, you're an All-Star," would mean the world to Ty Dillon, who's attitude entering Monster Energy All-Star Race weekend was centered around simply qualifying for the main event.

To Dillon, in his Sunoco rookie season in the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet SS, the Monster Energy All-Star Race is an important measure of status in the sport.

"It would mean everything, because that means I'm an all-star in this sport," Dillon said of the importance of advancing to the All-Star Race through the Monster Energy Open qualifying race. "I think that's something that's overlooked a little bit. This is our all-star event, and the drivers that are in it are all-stars of our sport.

"So I think that's something that we could do a better job of publicizing a little more. The event is awesome. It's super fun. But the fact is it's an all-star event. Everybody watches the MLB all-star game. Everybody watches the NBA all-star game because of the all-stars. So I think being a part of that race and knowing that this year, if I make it in, I'm an all-star of the Cup series in my rookie year. That would be pretty cool."


In last year's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. made history, leading a record 392 laps and 588 miles in NASCAR's longest race.

Including that victory, Truex has won six times in the past year in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota, trebling his career win total to nine. But Truex knows how difficult it will be to repeat that performance-or even to come close.

"So much has changed since then," Truex said. "The downforce package we have, the tires are different. Charlotte typically changes quite a bit day-to-day, let alone year-to-year. It's definitely still going to be a challenge. This place is tough. I think with our success on the mile and a half's even this year, I think we certainly should be one of the guys to beat.

"I think we are coming in feeling good about what we're doing and the car we're bringing, all those things. I think we'll be one of the guys to beat. But so many things you have to do right to win these races. There's no guarantees. We're certainly putting the pressure on ourselves to make sure we get it all done. Hopefully, we'll be able to put ourselves in that position. But there's no guarantees, that's for sure."

-- NASCAR Wire Service --