Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

Kyle Busch stays on less-troubled path

Kyle Busch is struggling a bit on the track, but at least he has stayed out of trouble this season, a big goal entering 2012.

Seven months ago, Busch was in the same position as his older brother Kurt — suspended a week for losing his temper and causing a confrontation.

Kyle was suspended from the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series races in November at Texas after he intentionally wrecked Ron Hornaday in that weekend's truck series race. That continued a series of run-ins, including a feud with Kevin Harvick, who owned Hornaday's truck.

This season Kyle Busch is racing less. His Kyle Busch Motor­sports team fields entries in both the truck and Nationwide series, but he hasn't raced a truck in 2012 and cut back his Nationwide schedule. Team owner Joe Gibbs strongly encouraged Busch to curb his schedule after last season's problems.

"For us not being on the racetrack as much, maybe it alleviates extra opportunities (for problems)," Busch said Thursday during an appearance at Kentucky Speedway. "For us, we've just been concentrating on minding our own P's and Q's this year and figuring out what it takes to run better and not be chasing putting fires out."

Busch, 12th in Sprint Cup points, shares his Nationwide ride with older brother Kurt, who has had his share of problems this year. Kurt was placed and probation and fined $50,000 in May for a confrontation with Ryan Newman's pit crew at Darlington and was suspended last week for threatening a reporter after the Nationwide race June 2 at Dover.

Kyle declined to address his brother's suspension, but says having him has helped his Nationwide organization. "(He) has given us great feedback and given us great direction on our cars and things," Kyle said of Kurt, who will drive in today's Nationwide race at Michigan International Speedway.

Also, Greg Biffle hit 204.708 mph during Sprint Cup practice on the newly repaved MIS surface. The track qualifying record is 194.232 mph (Ryan Newman, 2005), but drivers have been routinely surpassing 200 this week.

24 HOURS OF LE MANS: Defending champions Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer will start the endurance classic today from the pole in an Audi, which has won seven of the past eight 24-hour races in Le Mans, France. St. Petersburg resident and Le Mans native Sebastien Bourdais, who had committed to the endurance classic before joining the Dragon Racing IndyCar team for this year, starts 10th.

INDYCAR: Dario Franchitti clinched the pole for today's race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., with a two-lap average of 168.737 mph, edging Justin Wilson (168.287). Franchitti won the race from pole last year.

NHRA: Bob Tasca set the fastest Funny Car time on the first day of qualifying at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., 4.063 seconds at 310.48 mph. Antron Brown (Top Fuel, 3.814 seconds, 319.75 mph) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock, 6.623, 207.75) also led.

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