Kyle Busch on pole for today’s Nationwide race at Indy

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After winning from the pole position one year ago in the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch will look to replicate the feat today.

Starting his qualifying lap just before time ran out in the final round, Busch threw down a lap of 179.888 mph to knock Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth (178.912) from P1 on the grid for the Lilly Diabetes 250 (4:30 p.m. ET, check local listings).

Last July at the Brickyard, Busch led 92 of 100 laps but lost the lead on a restart with six to go and had to overcome Brian Scott and Joey Logano to take the checkered flag.

“Fast race car again – just looking forward to running 100 laps here today and see if we can’t keep it up front,” Busch told Fox Sports after earning his fourth NNS pole of the year.

“Track position is everything here at these places but I also feel like we’ve got a good car. If we get back on stops or something, we can make it up.”

Said Kenseth: “That was an impressive lap by the 54 [Busch]. Hopefully, it doesn’t run 100 laps as fast or nobody’s gonna come close to beating him.”

Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon (178.402) and another Sprint Cup regular in Kevin Harvick (178.359) will make up the second row for today’s race.

Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott (177.806) will line up fifth alongside Team Penske’s Joey Logano (177.760) in Row 3. Regan Smith, Elliott’s closest pursuer in the championship, starts seventh.

All four drivers involved in the Dash4Cash this afternoon – Dillon, Elliott, Scott, and Trevor Bayne – made the final round of qualifying and will start toward the front.

Scott, winner of last week’s $100,000 D4C prize at Chicagoland, qualified on the outside of Row 5 in 10th. Bayne will go from the inside of Row 6 in 11th.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.