NASCAR: Kurt Busch edges Harvick for pole at Texas

Published 1:35 am Saturday, April 11, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kurt Busch is on the pole for the second time in four races since his reinstatement from a suspension for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick is right there again as well.

Busch took the top qualifying spot for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Texas on Friday, edging past the defending series champion late in the final round to set up the same 1-2 start they had in Fontana, California, three weeks ago.

Busch turned a lap of 193.847 mph in his No. 41 Chevrolet a few moments after Harvick had taken the lead at 193.722. Brad Keselowski took the inside of the second row in the final seconds of qualifying at 193.195. Kasey Kahne (192.933) was fourth.

Jones claims first XFinity Series victory

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Erik Jones wore a cap and gown so he could pick up his high school diploma on a stage at Texas Motor Speedway a year ago.

Holding his first Xfinity Series trophy in Victory Lane, the 18-year-old’s racing suit was just fine this time.

Jones outran Sprint Cup stars Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a restart with 25 laps remaining Friday night, winning by 1.6 seconds in his ninth career Xfinity start.

The four-time winner in the Camping World Truck Series, where Jones races full time, turned away a strong bid from Keselowski on the restart after earlier battling Earnhardt.

Keselowski was second, and Earnhardt third, with both getting quick questions after the race about Jones in the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

A year earlier, Jones ran a truck race in Texas rather than attend his high school graduation in Michigan, and track president Eddie Gossage presented him his diploma during introductions.

Jones, who became the youngest winner in the truck series when he was 17 at Phoenix in 2013, is the second-youngest Xfinity winner at Texas at 18 years, 10 months. Chase Elliott won last spring’s race at 18 years, 4 months.

“I knew he was good,” Earnhardt said. “Now everybody else knows.”

The win also was a first for Jones’ crew chief, Michael Wheeler, a former engineer for Denny Hamlin in the Cup series.