Kyle Busch Motorsports General Manager Rick Ren has spent the last few weeks scrambling to rebuild his driver and sponsor lineups after team owner Kyle Busch was asked not to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series’ in 2012.
Ren confirmed in late December there was “a high probability” of Busch withdrawing from at least the 2012 Truck Series “at the request (of JGR). Not by demand, but by request. There is (also) a possibility of him running no Nationwide races under certain circumstances, as well,” said Ren. “There are a lot of things being discussed right now, which makes it pretty tough on me.
The 36-year old Leffler is a proven commodity in NASCAR National division competition. He finished in the Top-10 in Nationwide Series points in each of the last two seasons, and has two career wins on that series. In 46 career Truck starts, the California native has one win, 19 Top-5 and 29 Top-10 finishes, with a top point finish of fourth in 2002 with Jim Smith’s Ultra Motorsports team.
"As a racer, your ultimate goal is to win races,” said Leffler. “Driving the No. 18 Dollar General Tundra for KBM is definitely an opportunity where I expect to achieve that goal. Kyle has put together a first-class organization that builds top-notch equipment. I'm honored that he has the confidence in me as a driver to come in and carry on the winning tradition that his team has established. Dollar General is one of the premier sponsors in our sport and I'm looking forward to representing them on and off the track."
“He's trying to finalize himself down there, and we told him that the clock is ticking. We drew a line in the sand, so to speak. We have to have an answer by such-and-such a day, or it's just going to be impossible for us to make Daytona.”
KBM is expected to announce its finalized Nationwide sponsor and driver lineups this Thursday. It is possible that Busch could compete in at least part of the Nationwide slate, but sources say he is unlikely to equal the 20 starts he made in NASCAR’s second division a year ago.
The team’s first on-track Nationwide test is scheduled for mid-February at Nashville Superspeedway.