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NASCAR notebook: Kyle Busch wins third straight Nationwide race

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By The Associated Press
Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:09 p.m.
 

FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Busch raced to his third consecutive NASCAR Nationwide victory this season and his sixth overall at Texas, leading 91 of 200 laps Friday night.

Busch is the first six-time winner in any series at the 1½-mile, high-banked Texas track.

While driving a car he owned last season, Busch didn't win in the Nationwide Series. He is back in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this year. After finishing 22nd in the season opener at Daytona, he has four wins and a runner-up finish to push his series victory record to 55.

Busch finished 2.27 seconds ahead of Brad Keselowski, while Austin Dillon was third and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fourth.

The race featured a Texas-record 11 leaders and 22 lead changes.

Sam Hornish Jr. maintained the series points lead despite finishing 34th.

Busch brothers in front

The Busch brothers will start on the front row on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch set a track qualifying record with a lap of 196.299 mph Friday night to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole at Texas. It is his second pole in his Toyota this season.

That was all that could knock Kurt Busch off the pole after his lap of 195.688 mph in his Chevrolet.

The only time the brothers started on the front row together was at Las Vegas in 2009, when Kyle also had the pole and won. Kurt finished 23rd that day.

Series points leader Jimmie Johnson, who won at Texas last fall, starts seventh after a lap of 194.503 mph.

Sponsors scrutinized?

NASCAR might take a closer look at how it approves sponsors after the National Rifle Association became the title sponsor of this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Texas during a national debate over gun rights.

NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said NASCAR has no official position on gun rights.

“Our fans, racing teams and industry partners come from all walks of life and thus have varying points of views and opinions,” Higdon said Friday. “As a sport, we are in the business of bringing people together for entertainment, not political debate.”

Sponsorships are agreements directly between track and sponsor, but NASCAR reserves the right to approve or scuttle them.

“The NRA's sponsorship of the event at Texas Motor Speedway fit within existing parameters that NASCAR affords tracks in securing partnerships,” Higdon said. “However, this situation has made it clear that we need to take a closer look at our approval process moving forward as current circumstances need to be factored in when making decisions.”

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