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Busch looks for hometown win this weekend

Posted Friday, Feb 27, 2009, 11:29 am in Motorsports

The Dodge Boys head to the desert and the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this weekend’s Shelby 427—the third of 36 point races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Six of the seven Dodge team are guaranteed a spot in the 43-car starting field based on a top-35 finish in the 2008 owner point standings. The 2009 owner points will be used to determine the top 35 after the fifth race (Bristol) of the 2009 season.

With two top-10 finishes to start the 2009 season, Las Vegas native Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) looks to continue his impressive streak while searching for his first career win in Vegas. Posting one top-five and two top-10 finishes in eight previous starts, a trip to Victory Lane at his home track would be a dream come true for Busch.

“Winning at Vegas would be extra special for sure,” Busch said. “Me and my little brother (Kyle) have had plenty of success in the ‘bull ring’ dirt track across the street, but the speedway is where I really want a win.

“Our Miller Lite Dodge has been solid the first two races of the year. We have a solid race package, and the new R6P8 (race engine) is providing the power we need to run with the ‘big boys.’ A Vegas win would certainly be special.”

Richard Petty Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) looks to jump-start a sluggish 2009 beginning. Currently 23rd in Sprint Cup driver points, Kahne has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in five previous starts at Las Vegas.

“I think the race in California gave us a lot of confidence and an idea that we are heading in the right direction,” the nine-time Sprint Cup Series winner said. “The team did a lot of work in the off-season to make our cars better, and I felt like that paid off at California. We still have some work to do, but we definitely made some gains and I think that will show this weekend.”

Other notes

AJ Allmendinger (No. 43 Harrah’s Dodge Charger) will be making his first-career start at Las Vegas. He currently sits only seven points out of the coveted top-12 in NSCS driver point standings.

Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Stanley Tools Dodge Charger) currently sits 11th in driver points and will be making his 360th career Sprint Cup start this weekend.

Reed Sorenson (No. 43 Valvoline Dodge Charger) is the fourth Dodge driver currently inside the top-15 in the Sprint Cup point standings. Sorenson was the second-highest finishing Richard Petty Motorsports-entry last weekend at California.

David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) rebounded from a disappointing Daytona 500 with a top-15 finish at California. Stremme started on the outside of the front row at the 2007 event at Las Vegas.

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) jumped three spots (to 29th) in the driver standings after a solid 23rd-place finish in California last weekend.

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Series point standings
(Top 12 after 2 of 36 races)

1. Matt Kenseth 385
2. Jeff Gordon -81
3. Kurt Busch -91
4. Tony Stewart -91
5. Greg Biffle -117
6. Clint Bowyer -119
7. Michael Waltrip -121
8. David Ragan -123
9. Carl Edwards -125
10. Juan Montoya -129
11. Elliott Sadler -137
12. David Reutimann -137

What you need to know

Race: Shelby 427
Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Date: Sunday, March 1
Time: 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Track: 1.5-mile oval
Distance: 284 laps/427 miles
Television: Fox, pre-race begins at 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)

Friday, Feb. 27
1 p.m. – NASCAR Live (Speed)
1:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Practice – Las Vegas (Speed)
3 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice – Las Vegas (Speed)
4:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Final Practice (Speed)
6 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
6 p.m. – NASCAR Live (Speed)
6:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Qualifying (Speed)
8:30 p.m. – Trackside at Las Vegas (Speed)
9:30 p.m. – NASCAR Live (Speed)
10 p.m. – Nationwide Series Practice (Speed)
11:30 p.m. – Trackside at Las Vegas (Speed)

Saturday, Feb. 28
11 a.m. – Trackside at Las Vegas (Speed)
Noon – Nationwide Series Qualifying (Speed)
1:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Practice (Speed)
2:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (Speed)
4 p.m. – Nationwide Series Countdown (ESPN2)
4:30 p.m. – Nationwide Series Race – Sam’s Town 300 (ESPN2)

Sunday, March 1
10 a.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
2 p.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (Speed)
3:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show (Fox)
4:30 p.m. – Sprint Cup Race – Shelby 427 (Fox) Green flag at 4:46 p.m.
7 p.m. – Speed Report (Speed)
8:30 p.m. – NASCAR Victory Lane (Speed)
9:30 p.m. – Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (Speed)
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