Kyle Busch gets first Cup laps at LVMS


            The first day of NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas gave 18-year old Las Vegan Kyle Busch his first laps in a NASCAR Nextel Cup car at his hometown track.

            It would be fair to say the Durango High School graduate was in awe.

            ¿I guess overwhelmed, unreal, any other word that matches that,¿ Busch said. ¿But I have to realize that this is another race track, and we have a lot of work to do.¿

            Busch his set to make his Nextel Cup Series debut in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7. The younger brother of NASCAR star Kurt Busch also will compete in the March 6 Sam¿s Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.

            Monday, Busch joined nine other Nextel Cup teams and five Busch Series teams taking part in the open test session.

            At day¿s end, Busch was unofficially listed second among the Nextel Cup cars with a best lap of 31.82 seconds and 169.447 miles per hour. Though no official speeds were kept, Jeremy Mayfield had the fastest known time of 31.70 seconds and 170.347 miles per hour.

            In addition to Busch and Mayfield, Nextel Cup drivers Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon, Johnny Sauter, Kasey Kahne, Ken Schrader, Kyle Petty, Jeff Green and Kevin Lepage participated in the test.

            Six NASCAR Busch Series teams tested Monday as well. Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Matt Kenseth tested his Busch car along with Michael Waltrip, Ron Hornaday, Mark MacFarland, Eric McClure and David Reutimann.

            There were no incidents on track during the test.

            NASCAR Preseason Thunder Las Vegas will continue through Thursday. On Tuesday, 17 more teams including Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers, Gibbs drivers Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte and Ganassi drivers Sterling Marlin and Jamie McMurray will join the test.

            Testing is open to the public free of charge.