.C. -- B.C. Robert Griffin III JerseyCHARLOTTE, N. Miles Austin Jersey .C. -- Kyle Busch has been a force on the NASCAR circuit for years, but of is 24 Sprint Cup victories, none have come at his favourite track -- Charlotte Motor Speedway. He has nine top-10 finishes in 16 starts. Victory lane, though, has proven to be elusive. Hes hoping thats all about to change after capturing the pole for Saturday nights Sprint All-Star race for the second straight year. Busch completed the unique three-lap qualifying that included a mandatory four-tire pit stop in 1 minute, 59.11 seconds, wrestling the pole away from Ryan Newman. While winning the pole puts Busch and his No. 18 Toyota in great position to win his first All-Star race, it certainly doesnt guarantee a first-place finish -- and the $1 million prize that comes with a win. In fact, winning the pole has proven to be a bit of a curse. The last pole winner to win the All-Star race was Davey Allison in 1992. Just dont tell Busch that. "I dont have a win here in a cup car, so were definitely trying to break through that threshold," Busch said. "To do that you have to be able to put a whole night together and I havent been able to do that here in the past. Last year we ran a smart race and a good race, but we came up a little short. Hopefully the lessons we learn there will allow things to turn out different this time." It appeared for a while that Newmans time of 1:59.82 might hold up after 17 other drivers were unable to beat him. However, Busch, who was the fastest during practice and the last driver to hit the track for qualifying, pushed Newman to the outside row. Denny Hamlin will start third, followed by Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick. Jimmie Johnson qualified sixth, while Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Regan Smith round out the top 10. Defending champion Carl Edwards will start 13th. The All-Star race format has changed significantly this year. The 90-lap race will be split into four 20-lap segments preceding a 10-lap shootout. There will be a mandatory pit stop prior to the final 10 laps. The new format places a premium on winning one of the four segments and showcases the importance of the pit crew. The winner of each segment will move to the front of the field right before the cars head down pit road for their mandatory stop. Drivers will then line up in the order they leave pit road to start the final segment. Buschs strategy is to win the first segment. "If you win that first segment that sets your pace for the whole night," Busch said. "From that point out all you have to do is stay out of trouble and make it to their final segment where they have the realign and you start in the top four." Veteran crew chief and former team owner Ray Evernham says the new format forces teams to have a fluid strategy. "Nobody can sit here and say this is what were going to do. Youve got to perform on the fly," Evernham said. Evernham said track position is vital. "I would want to keep my car in the top four positions," he said. The field currently consists of 20 drivers, but will grow to 23 when the green flag drops Saturday at 9 p.m. Included are race winners from last season through the May 12 race at Darlington and previous All-Star race winners from the past 10 years. Three more will be added Saturday before the race -- the top two finishers in the 40-lap Sprint Showdown as well as the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote, which is almost guaranteed to be Dale Earnhardt Jr. should he not qualify in the preliminary race. A.J. Allmendinger captured the pole for the Sprint Showdown after running what he said was "the perfect lap" in qualifying Friday night. Hell start on the front row alongside Martin Truex Jr. Despite not winning a Sprint Cup race since 2008, Earnhardt remains the most popular driver in the NASCAR series and used the fan vote to advance to All-Star race last season. He knows that any win, even a non-points All-Star race, would provide a huge boost. "I think it would get people excited; it would get our team excited," Earnhardt said. "It would really help build confidence. I remember when we won here in 2000 how much confidence it gave me. Winning this kind of event would do wonders for our team." Eli Manning Jersey . He knew that the last of his six turnovers cost the Denver Nuggets a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds. O.J. Mayo also was mad at himself for committing six turnovers, but at least he could take satisfaction -- and considerable satisfaction at that -- in his shooting touch. Clay Matthews Jersey . In his first game back from the paternity list following the birth of his son last week, Willingham had three hits and came a homer away from hitting for the cycle to help the Minnesota Twins snap their six-game losing streak by beating the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Sunday. Josh Sitton Jersey . American Katie Futcher was a shot behind at Itanhanga Golf Club, and Norways Suzann Pettersen matched Brittany Lang and Candie Kung at 68. Paula Creamer and Christina Kim shot 69. Phatlum and Icher each had eight birdies and a bogey.Sean Lee Jersey . The Rangers are the top seed in the East for the first time since they won their last Stanley Cup title in 1994, but New York was forced to stave off elimination in Game 6. Darren Sproles Jersey . Clarke, Rock (64) and Noren (66) are knotted at eight-under 132 at Kennemer Golf Club. World No. 6 Henrik Stenson shot a five-under 65 and shares fourth place with Ross McGowan, who posted a 64 on Friday. Residents of Minqin in Gansu province use plastic bags to shield themselves against strong sandstorms that hit the county on Saturday. [LI JIN XINHUA] BEIJING - Yellow gale continued to sweep regions in Northwest China on Sunday, after severe sandstorms hit Gansu province and killed three people in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region over the weekend. Related readings: March sandstorms mainly from Mongolia Sandstorms due to cold: Experts Sandstorms whip across China Pollution caused by sandstorms not severe: academics Southern Xinjiang, western Gansu, western Inner Mongolia and some parts of Ningxia will still be covered in dust on Monday, but sandstorms will gradually weaken and end on Tuesday, national meteorologists said. In Xinjiang, the gale caused a big fire and damaged 14,000 vegetable greenhouses, causing economic loss of 550 million yuan ($80 million), local authorities said on Sunday. Apart from the three deaths in the region, one person was also leftt missing from the sandstorm, authorities said. Julio Jones Jersey. With the wind speed reaching at least 36 meters a second, the gale seriously damaged crops and vineries, which are major sources of income for Xinjiang residents. A sandstorm also hampered rescue and relief work in quake-hit Yushu county of Qinghai province on Sunday. Hundreds of rescuers headed for Yushu were stranded at Qinghais Xining airport following sandstorms and heavy snow in Yushu, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The air route from Xining Caojiabao Airport to Yushu has been dubbed a lifeline of the air because it serves as a major link for getting immediate relief and rescuers to Yushu, which was hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on April 14. A sandstorm shrouded the airport and filled its interior with sand and grit. All six daily flights from provincial capital Xining to Yushu were delayed, said a spokesperson for the Caojiabao Airport. Previous Page 1 2 Next Page Previous Page 1 2 Next Page ' ' '