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Busch takes trucks victory

CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Busch showed he can still be dominant in NASCAR trucks, even when facing adversity.

Busch overcame a penalty to snap a seven-race drought in the series, winning Friday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch dominated early but had to overcome a penalty for leaving the pit stall with a gas can still in his truck, a mistake that forced him to the back of the pack on Lap 84 of 134. However, he battled back from 19th place in the No. 51 Toyota for his first truck victory since Sept. 24, 2011, at Loudon, N.H.

"We sure do like to make it interesting, don't we?" Busch said, laughing.

Busch said the penalty was frustrating but the team stayed focused and didn't panic despite its recent string of bad luck.

"We had to work our way back, and I wasn't sure I was going to make it all the way back," he said.

Busch took the lead for good on Lap 123 after a four-car wreck brought out the race's eighth and final caution flag and held on for his fifth series win at Charlotte, the most truck wins he owns at any track.

Brendan Gaughan finished second, and Max Gresham had his best finish ever, taking third. Points leader Matt Crafton was fourth, followed by Ty Dillon.

Trickle reaction: NASCAR was stunned by the death of former short-track ace and longtime Sprint Cup driver Dick Trickle at 71. His body was found at a North Carolina cemetery Thursday with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. "I'm still in shock. I don't really get it," fellow Wisconsin native and driver Matt Kenseth said. Trickle's brother, Chuck, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal his brother had constant chest pains. The family said Dick never got over his granddaughter's death in a 2001 car crash.

All-Stars: Carl Edwards captured the pole for tonight's Sprint Cup All-Star race at Charlotte, completing three laps and a four-tire pit stop in 1 minute, 51.297 seconds. Martin Truex starts first in the Sprint Showdown.

NHRA: Tony Schumacher led Top Fuel qualifying with a run of 3.769 seconds at 326.08 mph at the Kansas Nationals in Topeka. Robert Hight led Funny Car, and Mike Edwards led Pro Stock.

Andretti team favored for pole today at Indy

Everything seems to be lining up for Michael Andretti this month. His five drivers have taken turns atop the practice speed charts all week, including Friday, when E.J. Viso and Marco Andretti topped the last session before today's pole qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Those two plus series champ Ryan Hunter-Reay, hot-shot rookie Carlos Munoz and James Hinchcliffe, who has won twice in 2013 including St. Petersburg's Honda Grand Prix, make Andretti's team a big favorite for the pole at the historic 2.5-mile oval.

"I think as a team, we're quite comfortable with our speeds," Marco Andretti said.

Busch takes trucks victory 05/17/13 [Last modified: Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:06am]
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