After a grueling four-week stretch to start the NASCAR season, nearly every Sprint Cup driver will get a weekend away from racetracks after today's Kobalt Tools 400.
But not Kurt Busch.
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion will take a break from turning left on oval tracks when he competes professionally for the first time driving a 210 mph Dodge Avenger in the National Hot Rod Association in Gainesville, Fla.
Surprisingly, younger brother Kyle, whose penchant to race seems compulsive, has opted for a weekend off with wife Samantha to celebrate their two-month wedding anniversary instead of driving his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota in a NASCAR truck race in Darlington, S.C.
But the next chance the current Sprint Cup points leader gets to take a break, he won't; he'll race his truck on Easter weekend.
Hard work, especially on cars, is how the boys grew up. They learned that ethic from their parents, Tom and Gaye Busch.
"It's always been about cars in our family," said Kurt, who is second in Cup points to his younger brother after two races. "Before Kyle was born, my family would go on street-rod runs to Lake Havasu or L.A. That's what we did as a family. It was always about cars."
And still is.
The Busch boys, 32 and 25, will spin any tire, turn any wrench.
After last Sunday's Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, they headed for sand dunes on the way to their hometown of Las Vegas with friends for a few days of gritty fun.
Their father, who drove a 1932 street rod from their home near Charlotte, N.C., to the West Coast, made a detour on his eastbound return to hang out with his sons.
"He enjoyed the camping part but couldn't understand why we'd want to tear our stuff up out there," Kurt said. "That wasn't how we were raised."
The boys' success in NASCAR often is credited to their knowledge of how to work on race cars, build them and a keen sense for what adjustments are needed to make them better.
That rearing and mechanical home schooling has paid off handsomely.
Kurt owns 22 Cup titles; Kyle has 19.
Today, Kurt hopes to match Kyle's 2009 feat of winning at the speedway they watched being built.
Kyle was second best in Saturday practice to pole-winner Matt Kenseth and will start fifth today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kurt was 13th fastest in final practice, an improvement over his 22nd-place qualifying effort.
They have invested greatly in diverse aspects of racing with the fruit of their labor.
Kyle started a truck team a year ago that won the Camping World Truck Series owners championship along with nine races, eight by the owner. He drove his truck to victory Feb. 28 at Phoenix.
"The stability (of our team) comes a little bit more from having guys around the shop that work hard, that work day-in and day-out doing their job," Kyle said.
Hard work is a Busch family mainstay.
They learned from growing up in a two-income, working-class family. Tom operated a tool franchise business from a truck, and Gaye was a school secretary in the Clark County School District.
"It took a lot of help from both Kurt and myself as well as Mom ... we all helped Dad in doing what he needed to do," Kyle said of his father's truck route. "That was where we made our bread and butter and put food on the table. It was never easy, but we made it work."
That tool truck also is why Kurt will race in Pro Stock next weekend. He recalls in the early 1990s visiting the shop of Las Vegan George Marnell, who won races in that division.
"I went to his shop with my dad as a kid. We were selling tools to a professional team," Kurt said. "(Marnell) had a real cool race car. That's where I got my taste for drag racing."
Kurt and friends built a 160 mph Dodge Challenger that he drove in his first NHRA national event last year. Next weekend he steps up to the majors.
If it takes dedication and hard work to succeed in quarter-mile racing, he can handle it because that's how he grew up.
Just like his brother.
Just like his father.
■ NOTE -- Today's Kobalt Tools 400 is sold out, LVMS president Chris Powell announced Saturday.
Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0247.