OXFORD – How serious is Sprint Cup Series star Kyle Busch about winning Sunday’s TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway? Apparently, he’s serious enough to have a Late Model car built for the race and make at least two trips to Maine to prepare for it.

“We’re not taking this lightly,” Busch said during a news conference at the speedway Friday night. “We want to come here and try to win this thing. We’ve been here a couple of times. We’ve been successful, but we haven’t quite taken home the trophy yet so we’re trying to do it this time.”

The 26-year-old Busch, who became the third driver to notch 100 career wins in one of NASCAR’s top three divisions when he won a Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday night, is returning to the three-eighths mile at OPS for the first trime since running in back-to-back TD Bank 250s in 2005 and 2006.

In 2005, Busch led 70 laps before finishing sixth after having to make a late-race pit stop. The following year, he came from the 20th starting spot to win the consolation race and held the lead before engine problems relegated him to a 22nd-place finish.

During his first two starts in the TD Bank 250, Busch, currently fifth in the Sprint Cup points race, borrowed a car from Mike Rowe, a two-time TD Bank 250 winner from Turner. This time, he is bringing his own car.

“We really wanted to do our own car,” he said. “Back then, I didn’t have a Late Model team. Now, I have one.”

Last week, Busch spent more than eight hours at the speedway working on the setup of his car.

“It wasn’t a half-hour, hop-in-the-car ride around the track to see if the seat fits,” track owner Bill Ryan said. “He was underneath the car. He was on top of the car. When he wasn’t racing around on the track, he was doing everything he could to make that car faster. He took it as seriously as any guy, and that just shows how much the race means to him.”

Busch will tune up for Sunday’s race by running tonight in a 150-lap Pro All Star Series race for Super Late Models at OPS. It’s the regional series’ first visit to the track in five years.

“We’ll run the Saturday night race just to get a better feel for (the track) and get some experience,” he said. “Then, hopefully, we’ll win the race on Sunday. That’s what we’re here for.”

The Super Late Model car Busch will drive tonight was built for him last winter. He’s driven it twice, winning the Rowdy 251 at Berlin Speedway in Marne, Mich., on June 22 and the Slinger Nationals at Slinger Speedway in Wisconsin on Monday night.

“I pretty much race anything,” he said. “We’ve got a Super Late Model car, K & N truck series, Nationwide Series. All around. Any form of motor sports I get my hands on, typically, I’m at it, trying to win at it.”

Busch said he will have to make adjustments in going from one car to another in back-to-back races.

“The biggest difference is the way the cars drive,” he said. “You know, the shock packages are completely different. The spring packages will be completely different, and the tires are pretty different, too. Essentially, the cars are pretty similar, but certainly there are different rules which allow them to be set up differently.”

“There’s a certain kind of feel driving them around the race track, because the set up is different,” Busch added, “and you have to find the differences.”

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

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