After a literal roll of the dice didn’t pay off for either Kurt or Kyle Busch in Monday’s Daytona 500, they’ll spin the roulette wheel of fortune again this weekend – and in Kyle’s case, several times – in their hometown of Las Vegas.
Kurt finished 33rd at Daytona, being collected in the multi-car wreck on Lap 183. Kyle finished one place lower when the engine on his car expired on the same lap.
Now the brothers Busch return to familiar ground at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – where they both began their racing careers – and look to rebound from their disappointing Daytona showings.
Defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch isn’t taking anything to chance this weekend, hoping to potentially pull off a three-race weekend sweep.
He’s entered in three races at his home racetrack: tonight’s Super Late Model race at The Bullring adjacent to LVMS, Friday night’s Truck Series race and Sunday’s Cup event.
The younger Busch brother has one Cup win at Las Vegas (2009), but has two wins each there in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series. The last item is of particular note as Busch has raced a truck at his home track just three times in his career, winning each of the last two spring races there.
Friday night’s race will be the first of five Truck races the younger Busch is slated to compete this season.
But he also will be focused on rebounding from Daytona with a win in Sunday’s Cup race. The younger Busch still holds the track record in Las Vegas for youngest winner in a Cup race (2009 – 23 years, nine months, 27 days). He also holds the track record for being the only driver to win a Cup race there from the pole.
Busch also returns to Las Vegas having earned top-five finishes in his last four early-season starts there, including third in last March’s race and runner-up in the 2018 spring race.
“Vegas always means a little bit more pressure – more pressure on myself – just because it’s the hometown and you want to win there,’’ Busch said in a media release. “Thankfully, I have won there, and I’ve knocked that one off the list, but certainly you want to win there every year.
“I love Vegas, the atmosphere and everything going on around that place.”
Kurt Busch hasn’t had quite the success his brother has had at LVMS. In 20 career starts, the 41-year-old Busch has never won a Cup race in front of his home crowd, but he has earned two poles (2010, 2016) and has a best finish of third (2005).
He finished fifth in this race last spring, including leading 23 laps. He’d likely welcome a finish like that – or better – after what happened Monday at Daytona.
“Lady Luck was not on our side,’’ Kurt Busch said of his untimely exit in the 500. “That’s a roulette wheel, people. The roulette wheel spins, and it grabs your number and it grabbed my number. Maybe Vegas will be a little better.”