After winning last Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch is hoping to carry his momentum over to his home track in Las Vegas.
Busch, a Sprint Cup Series regular and Las Vegas native, snapped his 24-race winless streak in Nationwide at Phoenix. The victory was his first since September 2011 at Richmond International Raceway. He extended his record of career wins in NASCAR's second-tier series to 52.
"It was a phenomenal day for us to just get back here in victory lane and feel the taste of it again," Busch said after his Phoenix win. "I was almost nervous, feeling like it was my first win, even though it's win number-52 in the series."
Busch did not score a victory while driving for his own Nationwide team in 2012. During the offseason, he agreed to drive the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in most of the 33-scheduled races in the series this season. Most of his Nationwide wins have come with JGR.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one track where Busch has yet to win a Nationwide event. He won a Sprint Cup race here in 2009.
Busch has finished no better than 16th in the last five Nationwide races at Las Vegas. He wrecked in the last two events here. Busch's only top-10 finish in nine starts at this track came in 2007 when he placed second.
So will this be the year he finally gets a Nationwide win in front of his home crowd?
"As long as I don't wreck, I'll be okay, because I have wrecked there every year," he said. "I don't need to wreck. I just have to make it to the checkered flag. One year, I had a flat tire, and another year, I was making a bold move to the finish line and wrecked. I don't need to show my rookie stripes again, for the third time in a row, this year."
Busch is one of three Sprint Cup competitors entered in this race. Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are the others.
After the first two races, Sam Hornish Jr. and Justin Allgaier are tied for the points lead, while Brian Scott trails them by six points. Hornish, Allgaier and Scott are the only drivers who finished in the top-10 at both Daytona International Speedway and Phoenix.
Forty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Sam's Town 300.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, March 9. Race: Sam's Town 300. Site: Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 4:15 p.m. ET. Laps: 200. Miles: 300. 2012 Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Television: ESPN2. Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.