FORT WORTH, Texas -- Michael McDowell came to Texas Motor Speedway as a NASCAR rookie known best for infuriating Jeff Burton during his Sprint Cup debut.
Then, during qualifying Friday, McDowell barrel-rolled his car around the track in the most spectacular crash in recent history.
"That was a scary incident," said Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will start up front in today's Samsung 500. "We all held our breath for a few seconds there because it looked pretty bad."
Now he's an overnight sensation, booked solid on national TV shows to discuss the wreck he lived to talk about. It's created mixed feelings for McDowell, who didn't quite want to become famous this way.
"I have two feelings about it -- one is that I want to be in the media spotlight for the right reason, and that's for being a good race car driver and running well," McDowell said Saturday. "The second part of it is that you'll take it whenever you can get it."
By way of owner points, McDowell will start 39 slots behind Earnhardt.
NATIONWIDE, at Fort Worth, Texas -- After all the laps Kyle Busch has led in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, he finally led the only one that ever really matters.
Busch won at Texas Motor Speedway in dominating fashion, leading 126 of the 200 laps and finishing more than a second ahead of Jeff Burton. With an average speed of 151.708 mph, it was the fastest Nationwide race at the 1½-mile high-banked track.
"I never won here, and I proved that, I don't know where Victory Lane is," Busch said. "When we finally ended up taking the lead, I thought in my head, this is too good to be true."
His skepticism was certainly warranted, since he had led almost one-third of the 1,066 laps (345) in the first six races this season without winning.
IRL, at St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Sitting on stage after qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves looked to their left and there, appearing quite comfortable in their new surroundings, were former Champ Car drivers Will Power and Justin Wilson.
"I guess we better get used to this," said longtime IRL IndyCar Series star Castroneves, the two-time defending winner of the St. Pete street race. "These guys are very good road racers. They're not up in front because they're lucky."
It's only the second event of the new unified era of American open-wheel racing, with Champ Car melded into the IRL and nine newcomers among the 26 drivers racing here.
FORMULA ONE, at Sakhir, Bahrain -- Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber edged Felipe Massa of Ferrari to take pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Kubica snapped a Ferrari-McLaren monopoly on the top spot that had lasted 22 races. He clocked 1 minute, 33.096 seconds in the final 10-minute session. Overall leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren will start third.