Vegas natives looking for home wins in Sprint Cup, Nationwide

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Maybe some home cooking will be the cure for what’s ailed the Busch brothers early on this NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Younger bro Kyle and older bro Kurt find themselves sitting 14th and 30th respectively in the standings, with the latter coming off a DNF last Sunday at Phoenix due to a blown engine.

But the Las Vegas natives will have a chance to right their respective ships in front of their home fans this weekend at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kyle has had a greater degree of success at LVMS over the course of his Sprint Cup career. He won there in 2009 and has four Top-5s and five Top-10s in 10 overall starts.

Kurt, on the other hand, hasn’t had a lot of good results with no wins and just one Top-5 in 13 overall starts, a third-place showing in 2005 for Roush Fenway Racing. In his last 8 LVMS appearances, his best finish has been a ninth-place result from 2010 with Team Penske.

The Busch brothers aren’t the only hometown racers this weekend, though. Brendan Gaughan and rookie Dylan Kwasniewski, both Vegas natives as well, will race against Kyle in the 300-mile Nationwide Series undercard on Saturday.

Gaughan, driving for Richard Childress Racing, will be making his fourth Nationwide start at LVMS. He hasn’t fared badly there with past NNS finishes of seventh (2009), 13th (2010) and fifth (2012). Additionally, he has two Cup starts and 13 Camping World Truck Series starts at LVMS to his credit.

As for the 18-year-old Kwasniewski, he’ll be making his NNS debut at LVMS. However, he competed regularly at the track’s nearby .375-mile “Bullring” while making his way up the ranks. He earned back-to-back runner-up finishes on the Bullring in 2011 and 2012 in K&N Pro Series West events.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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