RCR Race Preview: North Wilkesboro Speedway-Kyle Busch

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Kyle Busch and the No. 8 Thorntons Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at North Wilkesboro Speedway… Kyle Busch will make his first career start at North Wilkesboro Speedway in the NASCAR All-Star Race. While Busch has not competed at the historic North Carolina short track, the Las Vegas native has participated in 17 prior All-Star events and won the non-points race in 2017. The driver of the Thorntons Chevrolet is the all-time lap leader in All-Star Race history, leading a total of 324 laps (22.8 percent). Busch has claimed six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes and is tied with Bill Elliott for most poles (four) at the All-Star race. Busch also holds the all-time qualifying record and leads all active drivers with a 5.176 average starting position. 

Welcome, Thorntons… Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Thorntons, part of the bp portfolio, operates more than 200 stores that provide high quality fresh foods, beverages, and fuel in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. Thorntons’ mission is to be people’s favorite place to stop when they are on-the-go and people’s favorite place to work. Thorntons has its own blending plants, transportation fleet and food commissary. Thorntons has a passion for giving back to the communities where Guests and Team Members live and work. Thorntons volunteers make their communities better through community service, humanitarian day events and fundraising projects. Learn more about Thorntons by visiting www.mythorntons.com. Connect with Thorntons on Facebook www.facebook.com/thorntonsllc, Instagram @thorntons_llc and Twitter @ThorntonsLLC.


Tire wear will be a huge factor at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Is that an advantage to veteran drivers?

“Tire wear will be a huge factor at North Wilkesboro. It’s going to be crazy on how much guys will vary, whether they push early on and try to ride or whether they ride and then push late. It’s always a tough gamble. You never really know how it’s going to pay off. I think nobody has really raced there, so guys being able to take part in the Truck Series or late model races might have a better understanding and feel for the track and how it changes.”

Austin Dillon was one of the few drivers who recently tested at North Wilkesboro Speedway. How much have you leaned on him to prepare for this race?

“I’ve talked to Austin a lot about North Wilkesboro and his test that he had there and what all they did. I feel like we’re going to go back with something way different than what they tested. The basis of everything that I’ve heard is just absolutely no grip, feels like you’re on ice. You’re going to be skating the whole time so it’s going to be tough for everybody to get the feel that they’re looking for and that they’re going to be comfortable with. It’s going to be whoever is going to be most comfortable being uncomfortable.”      

Would you be in favor of moving the All-Star Race to different tracks in different markets?

“I feel like moving the All-Star Race to different tracks in different markets is definitely something that should be looked at. I think that the biggest thing is showcasing different racetracks you know, maybe different short tracks around the country that are cool and that put on great races with late model stock cars and or super late models. It’s all about what makes sense for the industry. It’s really cool to have North Wilkesboro play a factor in that this time around.”


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