Kurt and Kyle Busch - Photo courtesy Kyle Busch MotorsportsEnlarge Photo
After a winter of discontent, the Busch brothers of Las Vegas are looking toward the 2012 season with a Monster resolve.
Kurt and Kyle Busch are joining the Monster Energy team with a multi-year agreement signed for the in-your-face drinks company to be a multi-year primary sponsor of the No. 54 Monster Energy Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Befitting the sponsor's attitude--and that of the drivers involved--the announcement of this partnership came at Kyle Busch Motorsports' headquarters in Mooresville, NC.
With a collection of world class Monster Energy action sports athletes on-hand to welcome the Las Vegas-born brothers to the Monster Energy team, the group put on a moto-x demonstration, with multi-time X Games and Dew Tour champion Jamie Bestwick serving as announcer.
"It's great to have the Busch brothers join the Monster team and be wearing the 'Claw'. They have the right attitude for Monster and they're proven winners, which is what Monster is all about," Bestwick said. The balance of the welcome wagon included seven-time Supercross champ Jeremy McGrath, Freestyle Motocross X Games medalists Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, Kyle Loza and Adam Jones, off-road champion Johnny Greaves and BMX legend Dave Mirra.
"Now that you've joined Monster you may have to try a backflip yourself," added Bestwick. "All of us want to take some of your 650-horsepoer cars here in the shop out for a 180-mph spin, by the way. Keys, please!" he jokingly demanded.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports schedule calls for team owner Kyle Busch to drive the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide race on Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile, 31-degree banked oval. The younger Busch will drive the subsequent four races through California before splitting the balance of the season with older brother Kurt.
The goal is to secure the Nationwide Owner's Championship. "Since debuting in NASCAR, Kyle Busch Motorsports has had the goal to add a championship-caliber Nationwide Series team to our organization," Kyle Busch said. "With today's announcement of Monster Energy as primary sponsor and my brother Kurt as the second driver, we've accomplished that goal. And I'm thrilled to be part of a team of athletes like this," he added.
The Monster athletes on-hand to give support to their new team members had no problem bridging the gap between traditional motorsports and action sports culture. "We all share a desire to be the best and do whatever it takes to win," noted Jeremy McGrath, now a race-winning off-road truck competitor.
"I wouldn't mind taking a turn in one of those cars," added Johnny Greaves. Kyle Busch countered, "I"ve driven off-road trucks and who knows, maybe I'll do it again--I don't mind getting dirty."
Monster Energy Company president Mark Hall said, "Monster Energy has always stood for competing and winning no matter what the sport. To make this happen, we've always sought out the most determined, fearless and committed athletes for our Monster team. With the Busch brothers sharing the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' Monster Energy Toyota Camry, we have reason to believe we have drivers capable of running up front eery weekend."
Both Kurt and Kyle Busch had on- and off-track issues at the close of the 2011 NASCAR touring series' seasons. Kyle was told by NASCAR to sit out the remaining Texas races in October after he rammed Camping World Truck Series competitor Ron Hornaday Jr under caution; Kurt Busch mouthed off during the season finale when he had early-race car troubles and subsequently lost his ride with Penske Racing.