Busch takes the pole with track record speed, but Dodge drivers don’t have a good day at Vegas

Las Vegas native Kurt Busch turned a track-record lap of 188.719 mph to claim the top starting spot for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon was second with a lap at 188.646.

Kurt’s little brother, Kyle Busch, held the previous track record of 185.995 mph.

Kurt, who is winless in nine previous starts at Las Vegas, credited new crew chief Steve Addington for his strong qualifying run. Addington was Kyle's crew chief for the win at LVMS last year. He was fired in October from Joe Gibbs Racing, and Kurt Busch hired him in December for his team.

On Sunday, Kurt finished in the number 35 spot in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.

Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 28th in the Shelby American.

After days of cold weather and rain showers in Las Vegas, the temperature was much warmer under sunny skies as the field approached the green flag. Aware that the Mobil 1 Dodge might not handle well in such drastic temperature changes, Hornish began updating his team on the car's condition shortly after the start the 267-lap race. By lap 20, he reported that the Dodge Charger was very loose-handling overall.

"We were way off early," said Hornish. "We had a set of tires yesterday in practice that were pretty tight and we kept adjusting the car thinking the track was getting tighter and tighter. When the race started and we realized we had made adjustments on a bad set of tires, the car was too free. Once we got a decent handle on it, we were two laps down and then I was speeding on pit road. We stayed out trying to catch a yellow (flag) and lost another lap. It was one of those days we started digging a hole and it kept getting deeper and we didn't figure out how to put dirt back in it."

Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski finished in the 26th spot in the Spring Cup race. (Tim Marshall photos) []

Delaware Chrysler equipment auction nets $550,000

An auction of equipment and tools on Thursday, Feb. 25, netted approximately $550,000 for the University of Delaware. The University had been hoping to get at least $100,000.

Attendees bid on nearly 1,000 lots of items, including tools, carts, lifts, warehouse equipment and heavy machinery. All items came from the former Chrysler Assembly Plant on South College Avenue, which UD acquired in November. Proceeds from the auction will be used by the University to reinvest and redevelop the 272-acre property into an advanced scientific research and technology campus for the future.

“The turnout and results of this auction far exceeded our expectations. We projected netting $100,000 from this event,” said Vic Costa, executive director, 1743 Holdings, LLC, the wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Delaware that oversees the site.

Private contractor Great American Group conducted the auction on behalf of the University. []