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Busch brothers to backups after practice woes

October 05, 2013, Brad Norman,

Kyle, Kurt hit the wall hard in practice led by Stenhouse; both will start in the rear

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The Busch brothers continue to have problems at Kansas Speedway, and Saturday's setbacks came in the throes of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship stretch run. Both Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch had shortened practice sessions early Saturday after getting into the wall hard, bringing their respective backup cars out of the haulers and ensuring both would start at the rear of the field for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Kyle Busch, third in the Sprint Cup Series standings and 12 points behind teammate Matt Kenseth, has just two top-10s in 12 starts at the 1.5-mile speedway. He finished 38th in the spring race here after wrecking.

"I need a lot of help," Kyle Busch said. "Our car's not very good. I'm not very good here. With my Cup car, I've never had (a good) feeling here at Kansas."

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver came into Kansas on the heels of his best-ever postseason start, finishing second, second and fifth in the first three Chase races.

Kurt Busch's struggles have been almost identical -- three top-10s in 15 starts. He's currently ninth in the standings, 55 points back.

Kyle Busch, who had qualified 18th on Friday, drilled the wall on the first lap of practice in his No. 18 Toyota. His fender crumpled and fell off after the hard shot into the outside wall, and his car needed a tow off the track. Busch walked under his own power to the ambulance, and he was checked out at the medical care center. A golf cart whisked the driver back to the garage, where his team had already unloaded the backup car.

Kurt Busch's spin happened nearly 30 minutes into the hour-long practice session. Marcos Ambrose wiggled in front of the No. 78 car, which then lost control and spun around before drilling the outside wall in Turn 2 with its left side. The Furniture Row Racing team unloaded the backup No. 78 Chevrolet a few minutes later. Kurt Busch had qualified 19th.

Kurt Busch finished 20th in the session, and Kyle Busch finished 32nd. In the day's second practice, Kurt Busch was 11th on the grid and Kyle Busch was 25th.

Saturday's practices saw multiple spins as drivers dealt with temperatures that had dropped more than 30 degrees since qualifying on Friday.

Kenseth was among those affected, and he spun his No. 20 Toyota out with five minutes remaining in the first practice. The veteran was trying to merge back onto the track after putting on new tires, and his spin came just as Kyle Busch was thundering past in his backup vehicle.

Aric Almirola took a solo spin in the second session, but his No. 43 Ford did not incur damage.



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