NRA 500 - Practice

Kyle Busch sets new Texas record with pole run

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Kyle Busch knocked his big brother Kurt off the pole position for tomorrow’s NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway with a track record qualifying lap of 27.509 seconds (196.299 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval.

“We didn’t unload the best, but [crew chief] Dave [Rogers] and the guys really used the whole toolbox today and worked really hard on getting us a good piece for the race and for qualifying,” he said to SPEED Channel after his run. “You can’t say enough about all those guys.”

“Rowdy” was the only one to top the 196 mph mark tonight, with Kurt coming up just shy in P2 with a lap at 195.688 mph. Row 2 will feature a pair of Richard Petty Motorsports teammates, with Aric Almirola (195.009 mph) on the inside and Marcos Ambrose (194.946) on the outside.

Martin Truex Jr. (194.770) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (194.770) qualified fifth and sixth respectively, with last week’s winner and current Cup championship leader Jimmie Johnson posting the seventh-fastest lap in quals at 194.503 mph. Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top 10 positions.

Kevin Harvick suffered an engine failure during today’s final practice session and will be forced to start from the rear of the field on Saturday. Ambrose led “Happy Hour” with a lap at 191.354 mph, beating out Kyle Busch and Almirola for the top spot.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski