Brandon Overton Sees More Dirt Late Model Races In Kyle Busch's Future

Brandon Overton Sees More Dirt Late Model Races In Kyle Busch's Future

Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch wants to moonlight in Dirt Late Models more often with Brandon Overton and Wells Motorsports.

Apr 8, 2023 by Kyle McFadden
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BULLS GAP, Tenn. — Kyle Busch’s special appearance in one of Brandon Overton’s Dirt Late Models on Thursday at Volunteer Speedway has the makings to be more than just a one-time collaboration between the superstars.

Though the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion finished 16th in the 50-lap feature, Overton believes there’s more Late Model races to be had with Wells Motorsports and the 226-time NASCAR national series winner.

“We’re going to send each other our schedules for when he’s racing and when I’m racing, and we’ll see,” Overton said. “Yeah, as I said, we’ll see. I was almost kind of nervous. You know how it is, you hear people talking about him and stuff. He was super cool. From where he hot-lapped to where he raced at. That was a really big improvement.

“I’ve never worked with anybody that runs an asphalt car besides, like, Kyle (Larson). It just took him a little bit to get used to. I think he did great, honestly. He didn’t tear it up. As I said, he was way better in the race than where he hot-lapped. He made some pretty big gains and he had fun.”

When gauging the productivity of Busch’s evening, lay aside the fact that he needed a provisional and couldn’t stay on the lead lap to the hands of eventual winner Kyle Larson. Busch’s lap times in warmups were among the slowest of the 44-car field and there were two specific moments he about stuffed Overton’s Late Model into the turn four retaining wall.

So, for Busch to go from an erratic state that had last raced a Late Model in his 13th- and 11th-place finishes March 19-20, 2021, at Bristol Motor Speedway to advancing seven positions in the feature amid the challenges of dirty air, Overton’s rather impressed.

“That’s what I’m saying. He made, like, really big gains in two hours of time driving,” Overton said. “He did great. As I said, we look forward to getting him back in there and getting him more comfortable, and letting him go again.”

“I think he was better in the race than his car was. This is not one of my strong suits as far as the racetrack, you know?” Overton added. “I kind of felt bad. I knew the car wasn’t as good as it should have been."


VIDEO: Watch highlights from Thursday's Kyle Larson Late Model Challenge. 

In qualifying he timed 13th of 22 cars in his group with a lap of 13.348 seconds, a half-second slower than Larson’s 12.820 but only a few corrections behind Overton’s 13.079. In the heat race, Busch finished sixth from the seventh-starting spot and in the second B-main he finished a spot short of transferring to the main event. By night’s end, the 10th-place-finishing Overton only placed six spots better than Busch.

“He obviously has a lot of talent,” Overton said. “We watch Kyle all the time and there’s only one of him. But (Larson) has a lot more experience than this Kyle. We’re just going to try and keep him in it. We’re going to let him go anytime he wants to. Looking forward to it. Super cool guy.”

Busch and Overton met through Greg Price, a mutual friend in the motorsports industry. The deal “came about relatively quickly,” said Busch, who before his pair of Bristol races in 2021 last raced a Dirt Late Model in ’12 where he won the final Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

When Overton was first presented the idea of Busch possibly running one of his Late Models, the Evans, Ga., driver said, “Hell yeah, come down.”

“It’s so hard to just jump in and be fast right out of the gate against all those guys that do it week in and week out,” Busch told FloRacing's Matthew Dillner before Thursday's race. “I found that out (two years ago) at Bristol. I just wanted to go get some laps and have some fun (at Bristol).

“I saw the success (Overton) had last year and all the stuff he was able to do,” Busch added. “I know they have good pieces going to the racetrack. I look forward to that part of it. Just, again, working with different people, being around different people in this dirt racing world has certainly opened up a lot of eyeballs. It’s pretty fun when you get a chance to do that.”

As of Thursday night, there’s no hard and fast schedule of events that’d put Busch back at the wheel of Overton’s Late Model. All plans should be considered fluid for the time being as Busch and Overton devise next steps toward their newfound collaboration.

Castrol FloRacing Night in America events are suitable for Busch because of their mid-week appeal. The World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series event on April 21-22 at Talladega Short Track in Eastabooga, Ala., the same weekend as the Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway could be an upcoming option as well.

“I wish he would have had an opportunity to practice before this,” Overton said. “As I said, he got some laps and I got some laps. I look forward to taking him somewhere else.”