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Picking up the pace
# Kurt Busch (--)
It was a good week for Busch even before the race began, as he moved into the points lead when NASCAR slapped Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a 25-point penalty for cursing during an on-air interview after winning at Talladega. Then it got a little better. Busch's sixth-place showing at Kansas allowed him to increase his advantage over Junior and third-place Jeff Gordon.
# Elliott Sadler (+4)
Sadler was one of several drivers sporting characters from the "Wizard of Oz" on his hood . . . and he was definitely wonderful on Sunday. The top finisher among the "chase" drivers, Sadler jumped from eighth to fourth with his fourth-place finish in Kansas and sits just 143 points behind Busch with six races to go.