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Kyle Busch earns Sprint Cup pole, Nationwide victory

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Busch raced to his third consecutive NASCAR Nationwide victory this season and his sixth overall at Texas Motor Speedway just hours after earning the pole for tonight's Sprint Cup race at the track.

Busch led 91 of 200 laps Friday night to become the first six-time winner in the series at the 1½-mile, high-banked track.

He he has four wins this season in NASCAR's second-tier series to extend his record to 55. Busch finished 2.27 seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, with Austin Dillon was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fourth.

Sam Hornish maintained the series points lead despite finishing 34th.

In Cup qualifying, Busch edged older brother Kurt with a lap of 196.299 mph. The Busch brothers will start on the front row for the second time in Sprint Cup.

"Not too shabby of a day. ... I feel like we have a good piece for the race," Kyle said before the Nationwide race. "It felt that good. Sometimes you feel that good and it's not very fast."

It took that record qualifying lap to knock Kurt off the pole after his lap of 195.688 mph in his Chevrolet.

"A track record is a small feather in the cap," Kurt said. "The fact that it's Kyle, I wouldn't want to lose to anybody other than him, but it is bitter that I did lose to him."

Tampa's Aric Almirola (195.009 mph) will start third on the 11/2-mile track, alongside his Richard Petty Motorsports teammate, Marcos Ambrose (194.946), both driving Fords.

The Busch brothers have never finished 1-2 in a Sprint Cup race, but they came close at Texas. Kurt Busch won the 2009 fall race in Fort Worth. Kyle ran out of fuel late and finished 11th.

Formula One: The series is bracing for its return to Bahrain next week amid fresh protests about staging a grand prix in a country still riven by sectarian and political divisions. The protests might not be as intense as the past two years — prompting the cancellation of the 2011 race and vast security measures to allow the 2012 grand prix to proceed — but thousands still demonstrated against the race, to be held April 21. … Felipe Massa had the fastest time in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai in 1 minute, 35.340 seconds, ahead of Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso. Qualifying was held overnight.

Kyle Busch earns Sprint Cup pole, Nationwide victory 04/12/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 13, 2013 1:07am]
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