¿It¿s a fun track to race on. I know a lot of guys don¿t care much for the 1.5-mile tracks, but I¿ve had some luck at them so far, so I like them. We had a good test session here in both the Cup and Busch cars, so I¿m excited to get back here. We compared notes with Jimmie (Johnson), Jeff (Gordon) and Brian (Vickers, Busch¿s Hendrick teammates) while we were testing, and all the crew chiefs came back to North Carolina and debriefed afterwards. From what I¿ve been told, all the Hendrick teams are coming back here with similar setups. They¿re not exactly the same, because we do have different driving styles, but the differences are not that huge.


¿It¿s definitely a big deal to make my Nextel Cup debut in my hometown, especially with an organization like Hendrick Motorsports, but you have to treat this weekend like any other race. I can¿t let what I¿m trying to do with the Cup car negatively affect what we¿re trying to accomplish in the Lowe¿s Chevrolet on the Busch Series side. We want to win the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award, and we¿re trying to get into the top-10 in points.  Saturday is just as important a day for me as Sunday will be.

¿I hope I can qualify the Cup car in the top-20 and put it solidly in the show. I want to go out and gain some experience racing against the veterans and keep the fenders on the car. I think a top-15 finish would be great, but I just want to stay out of trouble and do my best for Mr. Hendrick and the team.¿


¿It¿s not that my parents had to sit me or my brother down and tell us to stay out of trouble. I was lucky, because I knew from a very young age what I wanted to do when I grew up. I¿d come home from school, do my homework, and then head out to the garage to work on our car. On the weekends, we were always off racing somewhere, and even on the off weekends, I was spending my time messing around with RC (Remote Control) cars. We might head over to ¿The Strip¿ to see a movie or visit the video arcades in some of the hotels, but that¿s about it. We were always too busy with racing to be distracted by that stuff.¿


¿I don¿t know that there¿s any pressure to be successful, other than the pressure I put on myself. Mr. Hendrick has never said a negative word to me about wrecking in his equipment. I¿ve been extremely lucky, because we haven¿t wrecked many cars since we started this deal, but he¿s great about giving you the opportunity to learn. He realizes that drivers like Brian (Vickers, the 20 year-old driver of the No. 25 Hendrick entry) and I are young and are going to make mistakes, and that we¿re not going to win every weekend. Someone at Hendrick told me that Jeff Gordon wrecked quite a bit in his rookie year, and look how he turned out.¿



ON WHAT TO EXPECT WITH THE TIRES AT VEGAS ¿ ¿Well, we had some tire wear issues back when we tested, but I think we¿ve got a handle on it for this weekend. The teams that didn¿t bother to test out here are really going to have their hands full, though. Our setup is not going to be a whole lot different from years past, but tire strategy is really going to come into play, I think. You won¿t see anyone ducking in and taking on just two tires. The tires fall off so much when they start getting some wear on them. I think you¿ll still see long green flag runs there like you have in the past, but it¿s a situation where you¿re probably going to want to come in and get tires before you need fuel. The problem is, you¿re scared to come down pit road under the green flag, because as sure as you do, the caution will come out and you¿re in trouble.¿


TWO-TIMER ¿ While this weekend marks the first time Kyle Busch will race in the Busch and Nextel Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch has competed in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at the facility. Driving the No. 99 truck for Roush Racing, Busch qualified third and finished ninth in The Orleans 350 NCTS event on Nov. 14, 2001. Ricky Hendrick, now Busch¿s team owner at Hendrick Motorsports, qualified seventh and finished sixth in the same event.

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE ¿ Kyle Busch may not have much experience on the 1.5-mile tri-oval at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), but he¿s logged a lot of laps at several of the other tracks that make up the LVMS complex. From 1999-2003, Busch captured more than 65 career victories in a Legends car at LVMS. Those wins came on almost every track at the complex, including the 1.1-mile and 1.7-mile road courses, the .5-mile dirt oval, and the paved oval known as ¿The Bullring.¿

In 1999, Busch won the track championship and the Nevada State Championship in the Legends Semi-Pro Division, and missed winning the national championship by just two points. The following season, he claimed the track and state championships in the Legends Pro Division, but fell shy of the national title by 12 points. In 2001, Busch, shortly after turning 16 years of age, won the first Late Model race he ever entered at LVMS. He went on to win 10 of the 15 races he competed in that season.

GET TO WORK! ¿ Kyle Busch is a driver that¿s always assisted in getting his cars ready to go to the track each week. Even after joining the Hendrick organization, which employs 450-plus people to prepare its NASCAR entries, Busch still goes to the shop and lends a hand. Busch handles placement and application of every contingency decal on all of his No. 5 Team Lowe¿s Racing Chevrolets. Busch¿s father, Tom, who works at the Hendrick shops, says the younger Busch has been in charge of decals on every car he¿s ever raced, and the tradition is continuing.

WELCOME TO NASCAR ¿ Kyle Busch has a full calendar when he arrives in Las Vegas, and will be kept hopping the entire weekend. Beginning at 6 a.m. PT on Thursday, March 4, Busch will participate in a local media tour on behalf of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, then is scheduled to shoot a video Public Service Announcement for the National Weather Service. Next up is an interview with the FX Television Network, followed by a press conference in downtown Las Vegas early that afternoon.

Busch will sign autographs for fans at the NASCAR Café Restaurant from 4-5 p.m. PT, then head over to Sam¿s Town Casino to participate in the Speedway Children¿s Charities Driver Auction at 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Before he can call it a night, Busch will make one last stop at The Orleans Casino, where he¿ll be a guest on a special edition of ¿Fast Talk Live,¿ a radio show airing live on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) from 8-9 p.m. PT.