When Las Vegas throws a big party, it tends to draw in people from a lot of different places. So it goes again for this weekend’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LVMS is considered the home track for both Kyle and Kurt Busch, who both grew up in the region. But in a presser this morning at the 1.5-mile oval, Kyle said that he wasn’t expecting to have a major contingent of hometown fans in his corner.
“This is a vacation destination for a lot of race fans, so there are a lot of out-of-towners that do come here,” he said. “It’s not 100,000 from Las Vegas that will be sitting in these grandstands. I bet you it’s like 20 or 30, but it’s just a part of the deal.”
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota also mentioned another reason why there may not be a lot of locals in the stands to cheer him on.
“I’ll tell you this, when I was coming up through the ranks I won a lot and probably won too much and didn’t make very many friends, so I’m not sure I don’t have many pulling for me anyways because I kicked their butt too much,” he said.
That said, he did note the multiple drivers from Vegas that are competing this weekend, including himself and Kurt in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series drivers Brendan Gaughan and Dylan Kwasniewski (Kyle will race against the latter two in tomorrow’s 300-mile NNS race).
He had advice in particular for the 18-year-old Kwasniewski, who is very familiar with LVMS’ nearby “Bullring” short oval but is making his debut this weekend on the big Vegas track.
“The biggest thing is just trying to make a name for yourself while doing it smoothly,” said Busch, who was 11th-fastest in this afternoon’s Cup practice.
“You don’t want to go out there and be stupid and wreck a ton of guys and make enemies right off the bat. There’s been a few that have done that and it still lingers in their reputation today.”