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KYLE BUSCH's itinerary read like a presidential candidate's: three days, more than 4,000 miles by air, five plane rides, eight helicopter trips, four police escorts—all to become the first driver to compete in three NASCAR races on three different tracks in the same weekend. "Why am I doing this?" the 23-year-old Busch said last Friday. "Because I just love to race." Here's how his jet-setting journey went:
1 Friday morning, Pocono, Pa.
After waking up late and finishing off a big bowl of Lucky Charms, Busch practices and qualifies 10th for Sunday's Pocono 500. (He's the Sprint Cup points leader.) He takes a 10-minute helicopter ride to the airport and, with a posse of 11, hops into a Marquis G-4 jet.
2 Friday evening, Fort Worth
The G-4 lands outside Texas Motor Speedway just after 7 p.m. Busch choppers into the track and hops into his ride for the Craftsman Truck Series Sam's Town 400. Despite starting at the back of the field (since he didn't qualify the truck himself), Busch finishes second. He munches pizza on the plane back to Pocono and hits the bed in his motor home at 4 a.m.
3 Saturday morning, Pocono
Rested after five hours of sleep, Busch wrecks in Cup practice, forcing him to a backup for Sunday's race. Crew chief Steve Addington says travel wasn't the cause: "He got plenty of rest last night." Off to the airport.
4 Saturday evening, Lebanon, Tenn.
Busch arrives at Nashville Superspeedway at 1:45 for the Nationwide Series Federated Auto Parts 300. It doesn't go well; he twice cuts a tire and finishes two laps down in 20th. Busch bolts without talking to reporters and makes it back to Pocono by 1 a.m.
5 Sunday, Pocono