Kyle Busch Motorsports

Harrison Burton to drive No. 51 Truck in six races in 2017

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Harrison Burton, the son of former NASCAR driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, will pilot a Truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports in six races next season.

Burton, 16, will drive the No. 51 Toyota Tundra, making him one of three announced drivers in the No. 51 in 2017.

A member of the current NASCAR Next class, Burton made his Camping World Truck Series debut last year at Martinsville Speedway, where he finished 22nd.

Burton will drive the No. 51 in these races: April 1 at Martinsville, June 2 at Dover International Speedway, June 23 at Iowa Speedway, July 19 at Eldora Speedway, Aug. 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway and back at Martinsville on Oct. 28.

“I honestly feel like I have hit the jackpot by signing with a championship-caliber team like Kyle Busch Motorsports,” Burton said in a press release. “Having raced in Martinsville last season with KBM, I understand the strength of the team and have complete confidence that they can provide me with great race trucks while making my transition into the Truck series as smooth as possible.”

MORE: NASCAR Next Q&A with Harrison Burton

Burton won three Super Late Model races in 2016, a Southern Super Series at at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, and finished third in his ARCA Racing Series debut at Iowa.

The native of Huntersville, North Carolina, joins Kyle Busch and Todd Gilliland in driving the No. 51 next season. Busch will drive it in five races and Gilliland, the 2016 K&N Pro Series West champion, will drive it in four races.

“Harrison did a really nice job in his Truck Series debut at Martinsville this year and we are excited to be able to bring him back for a six-race schedule in 2017,” Busch said in a press release. “I think everyone at KBM was really impressed with how he handled himself on and off the track throughout the weekend at Martinsville and in the end, he was able to bring the truck back in one piece — which isn’t an easy task for a young driver at that track. We look forward to being a part of his continued development next season.”

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch questions Xfinity rules package at Indy

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Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s  Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.

But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?

Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?

Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.

 

TriStar Motorsports team owner Mark Smith passes away

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Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.

He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.

TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.

“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)

NASCAR America: Analysts break down Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. wreck (video)

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Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.

Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?

Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.

Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps wild Brickyard 400 (video)

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.

Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.

All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.

Check out Junior in the video above.