Busch brothers sweep Busch, Nextel Cup races at Bristol

Bristol, Tenn., may be home away from home for the Busch brothers.

Kyle and Kurt Busch were both victorious this past weekend in Bristol. Kyle won the Busch Series race Saturday, March 25, and Kurt won the Nextel Cup race Sunday, March 26.

The Saturday race was delayed for more than one hour due to a whiteout. The Busch Series drivers spent some of the down time throwing snowballs at the fans in the stands, and at each other. But once the Sharpie 300 resumed, it was all business for Kyle. He held off a late challenge from fellow Nextel Cup regulars Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth.

This was the first victory of the season for Kyle. He had not finished higher than 19th in his previous five starts this year. This also marks the sixth time in six races that a Nextel Cup driver has won the Busch Series race.

Kurt made it a family sweep in the Food City 500 Sunday. He bumped his way past former teammate Kenseth with four laps left to take the lead. He managed to hold on for his fourth win in 10 tries at Bristol.

The top three finishers in Sunday’s race resembled Saturday’s. The only difference was Kurt, instead of Kyle, in first place, followed again by Harvick and Kenseth.

After Sunday’s race, Kenseth is the new points leader in the season standings. He is 8 points ahead of Kasey Kahne and 19 ahead of former leader Jimmie Johnson, whose crew chief, Rockford native Chad Knaus, made his return to the track after a four-week suspension. Mark Martin and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.

Janesville, Wis., resident Travis Kvapil finished 40th in the Nextel Cup race.

Sunday, April 2, the series returns to Martinsville, Va., for the DIRECTV 500. One interesting note about Martinsville: it is the only remaining original NASCAR-sanctioned track still hosting Nextel Cup events.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the March 29-April 4, 2006, issue

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