The No. 51 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro will have a new driver for the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch will make his first Camping World Truck Series start of 2022 on March 4 during the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 (9 p.m. ET, FS1).
Kyle Busch Motorsports announced the news on February 28 by providing an artistic rendering of the No. 51 JBL Toyota. “Rowdy” sat above the doors and served as confirmation that Busch will make his 161st start in the NASCAR series. The hometown kid will pursue his fourth win in the past five seasons.
Busch has only made five starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Truck Series, but he has never finished outside of the top 10. His first start took place in 2001 when he drove for Roush and finished ninth overall. Busch then returned to Las Vegas in the Truck Series in 2018-2021, posting three consecutive wins and a second-place finish in the No. 51 KBM Toyota.
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Another KBM Driver Captured the 2021 Las Vegas Race
Busch made another five starts in the Camping World Truck Series in 2021, starting with the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He entered the race weekend with the opportunity to win his fourth consecutive Truck Series event in his hometown, but another KBM driver held him off over the final laps.
John Hunter Nemechek, the Truck Series regular-season champion in 2021, turned in a dominant performance in the desert while battling his boss for the win. He led a total of 94 laps and captured his first trophy of the season. He also took part in an intense final run to the checkered flag.
An incident that collected four trucks brought out the caution flag on Lap 124 and forced the drivers to line up for the final restart. Nemechek took the inside lane on the front row while Busch lined up right behind him. Austin Hill took the outside lane on the front row while Matt Crafton joined Busch on the second row.
Once the green flag waved, Busch pushed Nemechek to the front of the Toyota-heavy pack and set up a battle between the two KBM trucks. Busch attempted to chase down his driver while testing out different lanes, but he could not achieve this goal. Nemechek held off Busch over the final six laps and won his first race of the year.
The All-Time Truck Series Leader in Wins Will Pursue Another
The spring race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway did not pan out as Busch hoped, especially after Nemechek built up a half-second lead on the final run to the finish line. However, he will have another opportunity to build on his career achievements on March 4.
Busch is the all-time leader in Truck Series wins with 61 trips to Victory Lane. He first captured the checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2005, one of three wins that season. He has since posted 14 multi-win seasons, including in 2019 when reached Victory Lane every time that he climbed into the No. 51 Toyota.
While there are no active drivers within reach of Busch’s 61 wins, there are others that can try to make some moves. Todd Bodine, who will make his first Truck Series start of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, needs two wins to tie Johnny Sauter (24) for fifth all-time. He will have six opportunities to achieve this goal while trying to reach 800 combined starts across the three national series.
Nemechek, for comparison, is 16th all-time with 11 Truck Series wins. He only needs one to tie Brett Moffitt (12) and two to tie both Mike Bliss (13) and Joe Ruttman (13). If Nemechek matches his five wins from the 2021 season, he would move into the top 10 while also passing Kevin Harvick (14), Johnny Benson Jr. (14), and possibly Matt Crafton (15).