Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011
The NASCAR notebook …
KANSAS CITY, Kan. ó NASCAR is looking into reports that Kyle Busch and 65-year-old car owner Richard Childress were involved in an altercation Saturday after the Trucks Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Busch finished sixth, a spot behind Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter after the two had a spirited late battle for position. Busch drove up beside Coulterís truck following the race. When asked what happened between the two, Coulter joked that, according to the spotters, Busch was just congratulating him.
Busch is on probation through June 15 following a post-race, pit-road confrontation with RCR driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington. On May 24 in North Carolina, Busch was cited for careless and reckless driving, and speeding after driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Bill Janitz, a spokesman for Busch, told The Associated Press in an email that ěthere wonít be any comment tonight.î
NO. 43: The iconic No. 43 car and itís unmistakable blue-and-red paint scheme is making its return to NASCAR this weekend in Kansas.
The modern version of the car made famous by ěThe King,î Hall of Famer Richard Petty, will start Sundayís Sprint Cup race at the Kansas Speedway with A.J. Allmendinger behind the wheel.
The move is part of a renewed push into the sport by Pettyís longtime sponsor, STP, which is also sponsoring Sundayís 400-mile race.
ěI wake up every day and I feel very fortunate to be able to get in the 43 and have such a huge fan base when it comes to the number and the history of NASCAR,î Allmendinger said. ěTo now having the paint scheme that ó especially all the old-school fans ó looked at and loved as they grew up and watched ëThe King.í For me, I feel very fortunate to be a part of (it).î
GROWING ON GORDON: Jeff Gordon has fond memories of the early days of Kansas Speedway after winning the first two Cup races here in 2001 and 2002, and he believes the track is getting better with age.
ěI loved this track from the beginning, obviously, but like all tracks do over time as they settle in, you get some different characteristics that come into play.î
WAIL TO THE REDSKINS: Dale Earnhardt Jr.ís winless streak reached 105 races in agonizing fashion last week when he ran out of gas with the finish line in sight in Charlotte. Many of his die-hard fans took the loss hard, with some of them expressing their emotions on YouTube afterward.
Earnhardt said Friday that he can understand the passion of his supporters because he feels the same way about his beloved Washington Redskins.
ěThatís the way I take a Redskins loss,î Earnhardt said. ěI can definitely relate.î
Earnhardtís last win came in 2008, and the Redskins havenít had much luck since then either, going just 18-30 over the past three years.
NOTES: Clint Bowyer hails from Emporia, Kansas, and Jamie McMurray and Cup points leader Carl Edwards are from bordering Missouri, so thereís some extra motivation for those drivers to pick up a win on the cookie cutter just west of downtown Kansas City. ěThis is the most excited I have ever been to run this race in my Cup career,î Edwards said. Bowyer got a head start on Saturday, winning the Trucks series race. … After grabbing the pole last week, Brad Keselowski had to settle for the 25th spot in Kansas. But his Penske teammate, Kurt Busch, recovered from a practice spin and took the top spot for Sundayís race. … The Kansas Speedway is about to get some company. Livestrong Sporting Park Stadium, the new home of Major League soccer club Sporting KC, is slated to open Thursday. Workers were busy over the weekend putting finishing touches on the complex, which sits across the street from the track.