Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Viva Las Vegas: Beleaguered Busch Brothers Are Back Home; NASCAR Drivers Testing in Familiar Surroundings after Topsy-Turvy 2005 Season

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Viva Las Vegas: Beleaguered Busch Brothers Are Back Home; NASCAR Drivers Testing in Familiar Surroundings after Topsy-Turvy 2005 Season

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

LAS VEGAS -- This isn't a town for choirboys. It isn't a town of protocol and niceties.

This is Kurt and Kyle Busch's hometown.

The NASCAR driving brothers are back on familiar turf this week, practicing in their stock cars at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Buschs come with their reputations a bit tattered, but as winners nevertheless. And here, back home, that's all that matters.

Kurt Busch is with a new team, hoping to erase a turbulent but successful stint with Roush Racing. With a new team comes a new commitment, a new outlook and -- hopefully -- a second chance.

Kyle Busch is back for his second full-time year with Hendrick Motorsports. He won twice last year, but crashed five times. He also walked out of his winner's interview -- on the same day that his brother was fired from Roush -- only to return with an apology.

"I'm a little older now," Kurt Busch said. "I aged pretty quick the last two months. I'm a little bit more mature and more aware of what's around me and very fortunate to do the job I do. I took it for granted.

"With a fresh start with Roger [Penske] and understanding his way of operating as a team, it's going to be all about teamwork, getting the 2 [Busch's car] and 12 [Ryan Newman] working together. There's so many things for me to absorb. It's going to be a challenge to fit in.

"I just think I've been too uptight, and I haven't loosened up enough. I get too uptight when 20 of you are standing in front of me with recorders. It's just about loosening up and having more fun with it. It's easier to do when I've got those people behind me."

The three-day test is considered the most important since it's the only chance that teams have to work on a 1 1/2-mile speedway before the season starts. NASCAR now limits testing to six tracks -- Daytona; Las Vegas; Richmond, Va., Concord, N. …

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