‘Rowdy’ discusses his favorite records, how he got his nickname
Q: What are your most memorable victories?
One of my most memorable victories was my (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) win in Las Vegas. I think that was a huge one for myself, just growing up here in Las Vegas, watching the track be built and wondering one day, if I could ever get to race there. To get to drive around the track and to finally pull into Victory Lane, I thought that was awesome. Definitely, definitely a huge moment for me just personally.
I think another one would be the trifecta in Bristol and completing it on Saturday night there. You know the first two, the (Camping World) Truck and Nationwide, that’s cool, that’s fun. But to be able to do the third one and to be able to do it at Bristol, a short track among others, was pretty awesome.
I’d probably say my third one would be my first win in the Sprint Cup Series in California. I had been to California before when I was 16 and got kicked out and wasn’t sure if I’d ever come back to the sport and obviously did. But was then able to get my biggest win of my career back at the speedway where I had such heartbreak when I was 16. I was able to win at that race just after my 19th birthday so that was pretty cool.
Q: You own so many records. Do they mean a lot to you? Do you like making/breaking records?
Yes. A lot of my records mean a lot to me. I liked having the youngest winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when I had that. I like all the records we are setting in Nationwide with wins per year and points per year. I like the championship that I had in ’09 as well as the Nationwide owners championships that we’ve had throughout the years. Of course, you like making them and breaking them. That’s what records are made for. They are made to be broken. I’m sure one day mine will be broken, but I’m trying to go out there and set them as quickly and as far out there as I can so it’s going to be tougher for people to beat.
Q: Are there certain records you are most proud of?
There are a lot of records I’m proud of. I’d say one … is the most wins in a single season in the Nationwide with 13. I’d also say that I’m most proud of how many Nationwide wins that I do have in the short period of time that I’ve been around competing. I’ve raced in the Nationwide Series for over 10 years, and I’ve got 66 wins so that’s a pretty cool record to have. The amount of laps that I’ve led in doing that, too. I think I’ve led over 13,000 laps, so pretty big numbers.
Q: Where did the nickname "Rowdy" come from?
The nickname "Rowdy" came from me just starting some truck races for Billy Ballew. I used to run his first truck which was No. 15 and when Billy wanted to run a second truck in a few races, he asked me what number I’d want to run so I told him to just reverse the 15 and make it 51. All his trucks were already painted black, and we put Rowdy Busch over the (door), and that’s sort of where it came from. I loved the "Days of Thunder" movie and thought that it would be fun to relive that a bit, and it has sort of stuck since then.