Kyle Busch needs to break Kansas bad luck streak to stay in Chase fight

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My colleague Chris Estrada outlined the stats for the 13 Chasers at Kansas yesterday. One driver who’s not been able to post the results – even despite some decent runs – is Kyle Busch.

Busch has started this year’s Chase with an excellent average finish of 3.0, yet ranks third in the standings behind Matt Kenseth (two Chase wins) and Jimmie Johnson (one).

Kansas has been a personal house of horrors for Busch, who in 12 prior starts at the 1.5-mile speedway has zero top-fives and two top-10s with a best finish of seventh in 2006. His average finish of 22.4 is third-worst in Sprint Cup competition behind two other Chase tracks, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Rather than dwelling on the negative, Busch will carry an optimistic outlook into Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to Kansas with the roll we’re on,” he said in his pre-race advance. “I thought we were running decent there last fall. Actually, I was leading and I spun myself out while I was leading. So, hopefully, we have a good car like that this time around and I don’t make a mistake.”

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.