Kyle Busch seeks trifecta in Bristol tripleheader

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Kyle Busch will attempt to win all three NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.

If he’s successful, it will mark only the second time in NASCAR history that a driver has swept all three weekend events.

The previous winner to do so?

Kyle Busch, of course, in August 2010 at Bristol.

Busch will drive the No. 18 DoubleMint Toyota in Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race, the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the Nationwide Series event and the No. 51 Dollar General Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series.

“I love Bristol, and getting back there running all three divisions is going to be fun again,” Busch said in a Joe Gibbs Racing team media release. “Being able to get back in the Truck, of course, and then run the Nationwide car and also run the Cup car. … . We’d love to be able to repeat 2010 – that would be amazing – and do another trifecta.”

Busch, 29, loves racing at the .533-mile oval, but his overall success in recent years has not been as good as he’d like.

“Since they’ve ground that place, it’s not necessarily been my best track lately,” Busch said. “So, I’ve got some work to do to figure out how to get better there and make it happen.”

Like a good race car driver, Busch also gave kudos to his primary sponsor for this week. Normally, we’d omit something like that, but in this case we’ll leave that reference in because there is some relevance and similarity to what Busch did in 2010.

“We’re excited to have Doublemint on the car this weekend,” Busch said. “It’s the company’s 100th anniversary this year and it was on my car for the sweep in 2010, so hopefully we can bring them back to victory lane on Saturday night..”

Busch was nothing short of dominant in that August 2010 weekend, leading a race-high 282 laps in the Sprint Cup race en route to victory lane, while also leading 514 of a possible 956 laps across all three series races there.

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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.