Busch eliminated in first round

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has lost his drag racing debut.

Busch was sent home Sunday in the opening round of eliminations at the NHRA Gatornationals. Busch raced in the Super Gas division of the Sportsman class.

His 1970 Dodge Challenger sputtered shortly after takeoff and covered the 1,000-foot drag strip in 10.10 seconds, a bumper behind Wes Neely's 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. Busch raced in the 9.90-second division, meaning he was a bit off the projected pace.

Busch, taking advantage off an off week in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, was the event's star attraction. He spent much of the four-day event shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

He made only two runs: a qualifying pass Sunday morning and the elimination race nearly eight hours later.