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Busch backs up top-10 at Daytona with fifth in Calif.


First time since 2005 Kurt higher in points than Kyle.

FONTANA, Calif. -- Kyle Busch may be forced to share some of his wide-spanning spotlight with his older brother soon. For the first time since 2005, elder Busch is ranked higher after the first two races of the season than his younger brother in the point standings.

Sure, it’s early, but Busch feels like he’s gained momentum from Speedweeks in Daytona and he’s even enjoying the unlikely perks of being a driver in the top 10.

“My scheduling group said that we have to do top 10 media [news conferences] and I looked at them cross-eyed because it’s been quite a few races since we’ve had the opportunity to be up in the top 10,” Busch said. “So it feels good to be [third] in the standings.”

Sunday’s Auto Club 500 was a continuation of last week’s success in Daytona where Busch finished ninth in the Shootout and 10th in the Daytona 500.

And Sunday, he kept his No. 2 Dodge up front for the duration of race, led a couple laps and ultimately finished fifth.

“It was a good night for us,” he said. “I felt that our car had a great setup in it. Our crew on pit road did a great job on our stops with the Dodge. We’re happy.”

Busch said it’s early in the season but the team has made an "excellent turnaround over the offseason.

“It’s just a matter of all those ideas that we’ve compiled during the offseason,” he said. “All the new things that we want to try when we hit the race track. You have to manage your time well to make sure that you get those research and development questions out of the way but keep track of track conditions and get the car dialed in.”

That and this Las Vegas native just loves racing out west.

“I really enjoy coming out to the West Coast and race -- it feels like home,” Busch said. “Things are comfortable, I know my way around and I know my surroundings. It feels like there’s always something to do. You’re always busy catching up with people, going to dinners, going to appearances. When we come back to the West Coast you get to catch-up with all good friends from the past -- it makes the time go by easier at the same time it feels like you have extra support out there when you have your close friends at the track.”

And Busch always enjoys the comfort foods the West Coast brings as well.

“In & Out Burger, that’s usually the first visit that you make that’s for sure. I still have these coupons that I found,” Busch said. “I still got five-dollar-off coupons from In & Out Burger. Those will be used for sure.”


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