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Motorsports

Busch dominates at Michigan

By Associated Press
Published August 22, 2004

BROOKLYN, Mich. - It took Kyle Busch 27 laps to work his way to the lead Saturday despite starting second. After that, though, there was little doubt who was the fastest driver in the Cabela's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race.

The 19-year-old Busch, younger brother of Nextel Cup driver Kurt Busch, led 87 of the 125 laps on the 2-mile oval at Michigan International Speedway. Three times he had leads of more than five seconds wiped out but still beat runner-up Mark Martin to the finish by 3.861 seconds - nearly half a straightaway.

"Kyle Busch was just in another league," said Martin, a longtime Cup star who started last in the 43-car field in his first Busch race since 2000. "He put it on us really bad, but I'm still pleased we were able to beat all those guys behind us.

"Even getting beat like that, it's a relief. I was afraid I'd come back and not uphold the tradition of what we'd done in the Busch Series," added Martin, the career series victory leader with 45.

Series leader Martin Truex Jr., who led only the first 22 laps after starting from the pole, finished third but saw his lead over runner-up Busch cut from 117 to 97 points. It was the series-leading fifth victory of the season for Busch, the first rookie to win that many races since Greg Biffle won five in 1989.

Truex was followed across the finish line by Cup regulars Casey Mears, Kasey Kahne and Rusty Wallace - making his first Busch start since 1997.

Thirty-three laps run under caution held Busch's winning speed to 122.166 mph, the slowest in 13 Busch races at Michigan.

INDYCAR: Tony Kanaan was disappointed after his team landed four of the top six spots for the Honda 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.

He wanted Andretti Green Racing to get all the top slots.

Kanaan finished with the best practice time before qualifying was rained out, and will start on the front row today next to teammate Dan Wheldon. Andretti driver Dario Franchitti will start fourth and Bryan Herta sixth in the 225-lap race. "It's a shame we didn't get to qualify because I think it could have been one, two, three, four," said Kanaan, who leads the IRL IndyCar series by 50 points over Buddy Rice with five races left. "I was really hoping to get that."

Kanaan came out with a practice time of 20.6527 seconds at 174.311 mph to put his Honda on the pole for the second time this season.

NHRA: Funny Car driver Whit Bazemore earned the 28th top qualifying position of his career at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Millington, Tenn., finishing in 4.856 seconds at 306.26 mph. He leads the 16-car field in today's eliminations. David Grubnic (Top Fuel), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Bike) were the No. 1 qualifiers in their divisions at Memphis Motorsports Park.

AMERICAN LE MANS: Butch Leitzinger set a new Road America track qualifying record while winning the pole for today's American Le Mans series event, finishing in 1 minute, 51.893 seconds at 130.239 mph. The former record was 1:52.166 by Tom Kristensen in 2002.

[Last modified August 22, 2004, 01:26:28]


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