Kyle Busch Motorsports keeps on truckin’ with young NASCAR talent

Updated December 14, 2017 - 12:53 pm

If Miami of Ohio is the “Cradle of Coaches,” as the old-school college football commentators like to say, then Kyle Busch Motorsports is the “Crib of Drivers” on the fast track to NASCAR stardom.

Erik Jones, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace are the Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank and Sid Gilman of Busch’s Truck Series team.

A sixth up-and-coming driver, Busch’s fellow Las Vegan Noah Gragson, might turn out to be its Jim Tressell.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Busch said the 19-year-old prospect will assume the wheel of the No. 4 truck during the 2018 season, the mount that Jones and Bell drove to championships before moving up the NASCAR ladder. Gragson served a successful apprenticeship in KBM’s second truck entry in 2017, the No. 18 Tundra. He won a race, finished 10th in points and narrowly missed the playoffs at season’s end.

During Champion’s Week festivities in his hometown, Busch spoke with pride about what KBM has accomplished since he purchased the assets of J.B. Scott’s team in 2009 and added trucks from Roush Fenway Racing.

“Yeah, super proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish at Kyle Busch Motorsports with the truck series and the development program we’ve kind of had there the last few years,” said the 2015 Cup Series champion who finished second to Martin Truex Jr. in a riveting duel for this year’s title.

“Bringing up Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace and William Byron and Christopher Bell now, and of course Noah Gragson is the next guy on that list. Noah really stepped up, did a great job there toward the end of the season winning at Martinsville; running top five, finishing top five, top 10 at the last three, four races besides Phoenix.

“All in all, really looking forward to him and what he has in store for us with speed, and hopefully being able to carry our flagship team and racing for a championship next year in the Truck Series.”

Green, white, checkered

— The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities distributed more than $311,000 to national and local charities during a ceremony at the track Tuesday during its annual holiday tree lighting event. This year’s donation is the second-highest total for the Las Vegas Chapter, behind the charity’s $314,000 in distributions in 2007.

— Spectator parking passes for the 2018 Mint 400 March 7-11 went on sale Thursday. They cost $35, and you’ll need one to get access to viewing areas in Jean and at the start-finish line in Primm. Click here http://tinyurl.com/y9wudsov to purchase a parking pass or for more information.

— The schedule is set for the Pennzoil 400 NASCAR tripleheader at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 1-4. The Truck Series will get the green flag at 6 p.m. Friday, Xfinity at 1 p.m. Saturday, Cup at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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