Busch adjusts after penalty

Kurt Busch’s seventh speeding penalty of the season could have

sunk his title hopes in the first Chase for the Sprint Cup

championship race.

He clearly had a top-10 car when he headed to pit road early in

Sunday’s race at Chicago, and that speeding penalty assessed on Lap

80 dropped him to 35th in the field.

It also made him pretty angry, since Busch was convinced he was

not speeding.

”Chicago was a bogus thing in my mind,” Busch said.

”My tach was green all the way down pit road,” he added.

”There’s times when it might flicker red and then you hold your

breath to see if you’re going to get by the police, in a sense.

Chicago was all green, never expected to be called in, and we

were.”

It was still bugging him when the race stopped for rain 30 laps

later and Busch grumbled about it as he drove his Furniture Row

Racing Chevrolet down pit road. But he had a five-plus hour rain

delay to get over it, and did, rallying to an astonishing

fourth-place finish.

Busch heads into Sunday’s race at New Hampshire tied for fifth

in the Chase standings, 23 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. The

speeding penalties are a concern, and Busch conceded his team needs

to be careful the remaining nine races.

”We’re setting our pit road tachometer too aggressively and too

close to the margin, so we just have to be more conservative,” he

said. ”The thing that has to be clear internally with Furniture

Row Racing is that the guy setting the tach isn’t going

conservative on his own, and then I’m going doubly conservative to

make sure we’re not too conservative once we’re out performing,

because we have to perform in this Chase.

”We can’t lose spots on pit road with slow pit stops and we

can’t lose spots on pit road driving too slow in a speed

zone.”

ENGINE WOES?: Matt Kenseth goes into Round 2 of the Chase for

the Sprint Cup championship with an eight point lead over Joe Gibbs

Racing teammate Kyle Busch.

With five-time champion Jimmie Johnson lurking right behind them

– he’s just 11 points out of the lead – neither can breathe

easy.

Their own equipment may be cause for some sleepless nights. JGR

teammate Denny Hamlin suffered an engine failure late in Sunday

night’s race at Chicago, and Brian Vickers also had an issue,

giving manufacturer Toyota two engine failures in the same

race.

”It’s always a concern breaking any kind of parts, having any

kind of failure, anything that’s going to take you out of a good

finish when you’re trying to race for a championship and stay in

contention,” said Kenseth, who will make his 500th career Sprint

Cup start on Sunday. ”There’s not a lot we can do about it. You

try to get all the information you can, try to control all the

things you can, try to be easy on any parts or pieces that could

possibly break.

”Certainly engines are one of the most critical pieces, and

they take a lot of abuse. I guess you maybe always worry about that

a little bit.”

Toyota also had issues three races ago at Atlanta, where four

engines had problems. Hamlin suffered two engine failures that

weekend – one in Saturday practice, one in the race, Vickers lost

an engine on Friday, and Clint Bowyer’s failed while leading in the

race.

”I’m not sure about Atlanta. I know we were trying some new

stuff there, something for next season, something to use later in

the Chase. I know there was a little bit of experimenting in

Atlanta,” Kenseth said.

”When you get to the race track, you can’t do a lot about it so

you concentrate on the things you can control and try to help that

as much as you can and go from there.”

RIDE FOR CANCER RESEARCH: IndyCar Series champion Ryan

Hunter-Reay will participate in the annual Dolphins Cycling

Challenge as part of Team AutoNation to support cancer

research.

The two-day cycling ride Nov. 2-3 is a collaborative effort

between the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Miller

School of Medicine, with 100 percent of rider-raised funds going

directly to cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer

Center.

Hunter-Reay lost his mother to colon cancer in 2010 and has been

committed to raising funds for cancer research through Racing for

Cancer, which he co-founded. AutoNation is a presenting sponsor of

Racing for Cancer.

”Nearly one-third of cancer is said to be preventable and with

early detection, many more cancers can be caught in their early

stages saving lives,” said Hunter-Reay. ”Our goal is to create an

awareness of the importance of getting tested.”

BILL FRANCE CHAMPIONSHIP: Frank Kimmel is the winner of the Bill

France 4 Crown Championship following his third-place finish in the

ARCA Racing Series’ event at Salem Speedway.

The Bill France 4 Crown is a miniseries within the ARCA season

that challenges drivers on four different types of courses. This

season’s 4-Crown schedule included a superspeedway event at

Michigan International Speedway, a road course at New Jersey

Motorsports Park, a mile dirt oval at Springfield and a short track

at Salem.

Kimmel’s showing Saturday at Salem gave him his sixth Bill

France championship.

”I’ve always put that pretty high on the list,” he said.

”First of all the namesake of the thing, Bill France, that’s a big

deal and pretty awesome he’s part of that thing. It’s such a

diverse set of tracks.”