Kyle Busch Motorsports arrived in Cordele, Georgia on Friday morning with two race cars and a new crew chief. Steve Strasburg, a native of Wisconsin, has taken over the reigns of the KBM Super Late Model program, taking over for Bond Suss who formerly held the position.
Strasburg, who just turned 47 years old on Saturday, has a lot of experience in the crew chief position from his many years in Wisconsin, but now he’s at the helm of arguably the strongest team in Super Late Model racing. And, he has the boss, NASCAR Spring Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, behind the wheel for his first race as crew chief.
“I feel real confident because I have Kyle,” said Strasburg, who also said he’s not feeling any pressure this weekend. “That’s going to make my job easier this weekend. But if I don’t perform then that won’t be good.”
In December, Christopher Bell in his KBM No. 51 was disqualified twice at the Snowball Derby, once after winning the pole, and then again after winning the biggest event in short track racing.
Busch told Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Saturday morning that “things weren’t quite right with the SLM program,” and that he felt a change needed to be made.
“We made some changes and then had some guys come to the shop that we did some interviews with,” Busch said. “There were some good guys. All were really smart. You could go down a good path with any of them. You could build a good program around any of the four, but Steve was the best of them I thought and the one I really wanted to try out so we’ll see how it works.”
Strasburg said the way his hiring came about was almost like a regular job search, but in a much faster way.
“I had some other things lined up before this was about to happen and a friend of mine called me and told me I needed to send a resume over to KBM because they were looking for a new crew chief and he thought that would be perfect for me,” Strasburg said. “So I sent it over and a couple days later got an interview and little bit after that Kyle interviewed me and now here I am.”
In addition to having Busch in Cordele with him, Strasburg also has the defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie William Byron racing under him as well.
With two more than capable drivers, Strasburg believes that there’s only one way to start off his tenure at Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“I hope to go one-two this weekend,” he said. “Hopefully we can start this season off right.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Heath Lawson/Speed51.com photo