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NASCAR returns from spring break; Busches will try new teamwork

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Busch Brothers are adding a new dynamic to their relationship.

When Kurt Busch gets in the car for tonight's NASCAR Nationwide race in Texas (8:30 p.m., ESPN2), where he ran in that series for the first time and won six years ago, it will be his debut driving for younger brother Kyle's new stock car team.

"It is owner-driver, but it is brother-brother, and it's unique with me having the upper hand on age," 33-year-old Kurt Busch said Thursday. "But I respect him for the guts that he has to jump into this endeavor, to be the owner."

After the first of about 17 Nationwide races driving for his brother, they will be competitors again Saturday night in the Sprint Cup race.

It was at Texas last November when NASCAR barred 26-year-old Kyle Busch from driving for Joe Gibbs in the Cup and Nationwide races. That came after Busch, driving the truck he owned, deliberately wrecked championship contender Ron Hornaday Jr. during a caution in the race that started a tripleheader weekend.

Since NASCAR's last trip to the 1 1/2 -mile high-banked track, Kurt Busch has changed Cup teams. He split with Penske Racing after six seasons in what was called a mutual parting of the ways and is with the new much smaller and less-funded Phoenix Racing team.

"Both teams that I'm with this year are very unique circumstances," he said. "We'll have chances at winning in the Nationwide car, we're going to have to claw and scrap and fight real hard with the Cup car. But we're going to have our opportunities to have fun every week."

After the Easter break, NASCAR resumes this weekend with the first scheduled night Cup race of the season, though not the first one. (Don't forget the rain-postponed Daytona 500 that was run on a Monday night).

Greg Biffle, who has seven consecutive top-10 finishes in Texas and won at the track in 2005, is the relaxed points leader after returning from vacation in the Bahamas.


Chevy pulls switch

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Chevrolet's strong start in its return to IndyCar suffered a significant setback Thursday when the manufacturer decided to change the engines for all 11 of its teams before they open the weekend at Long Beach.

The change means all 11 Chevrolet drivers will drop 10 spots on the starting grid before Sunday's race under an IndyCar rule that prohibits engine changes before each one has completed 1,200 miles. The mileage minimum would have been reached Sunday in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

"This is certainly a decision that was not made lightly," said Chris Berube, program manager for Chevrolet's IndyCar effort. "We intently discussed the situation with our partners and our teams prior to determining that this was the best course of action to preserve the integrity of the racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series."

IndyCar has competing manufacturers for the first time since 2005, with Chevrolet and Lotus jumping into a series that Honda had controlled exclusively the past seven seasons. Chevrolet has won both poles and both races this season, and leads the manufacturers' race with 18 points to Honda's 12.

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