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Kyle second to start weekend

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Busch arrived at Texas Motor Speedway, got in his truck and started driving through the field.

The Las Vegas native finished second Friday in the Craftsman Trucks Series race, the first of a planned cross-country trifecta to become the first driver to race in all three of NASCAR’s national series at three different tracks on the same weekend.

Ron Hornaday Jr. held off Busch for the final two laps after a green-white-checkered finish for his 35th career victory, his first at Texas.

On the previous restart with 11 laps to go, Busch moved from fourth to second in less than a lap, passing Johnny Benson and Jack Sprague to get behind Hornaday. But he never could push into the lead.

Because Busch didn’t drive the truck during qualifying Thursday, and also missed the drivers’ meeting, he had to start at the back of the 35-truck field. He was up to 16th after only 30 laps and was in the top 10 within 53 laps.

Busch was going for his third Craftsman Trucks victory in seven starts this season. He is the Sprint Cup points leader and is second in Nationwide points, with four victories in each series.

Busch arrived at the track about an hour before the start of the race, after flying from Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, where he qualified 10th for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.

Busch was headed back to Pocono late Friday. There will be more Cup practice today before he goes to Nashville, Tenn., for the Nationwide Series race.

• SPRINT CUP — At Long Pond, Pa., Kasey Kahne continued his midseason turnaround by winning his first pole of the year at Pocono Raceway.

Now Kahne hopes to parlay it into his second Sprint Cup Series win of the season.

Kahne snapped a 52-race winless streak two weeks ago in the Coca-Cola 600, which came eight days after he scored a $1 million payday by winning the All-Star race.

Kahne ran a lap at 170.219 mph in his No. 9 Dodge to knock Jimmie Johnson off the top starting spot.

• IRL — At Fort Worth, Texas, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves will start at Texas the same way they are in IndyCar Series points — 1-2.

Dixon, the Indianapolis 500 champion and series points leader, earned his fourth pole of the year by averaging 214.878 mph on the 11/2-mile, high-banked track for tonight’s Bombardier Learjet 550k.

Castroneves, second in points and the only driver with top-five finishes in every race, had a qualifying speed of 214.777.

Dixon has a 28-point lead over Castroneves and a 49-point lead over teammate Dan Wheldon, who will start 11th. Wheldon’s qualifying run came in a backup car and with a sore right ankle sustained about 31/2 hours earlier when he flipped his car in practice.

• NHRA — At Joliet, Ill., Ashley Force topped NHRA Funny Car qualifying, driving her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a 4.759-second pass at a career-best 329.10 mph during the second round.

Qualifying will conclude with two rounds today at Route 66 Raceway. If Force’s performance stands, she will be the first woman to earn a No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car.

Other qualifying leaders were Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel (4.513 seconds at 333.69 mph), Warren Johnson in Pro Stock (6.711 at 206.35) and Chris Rivas in Pro Stock Motorcycle (7.027 at 187.29).

 

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