Baby Busch all grown up

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Kyle Busch's day ended early on Saturday when he was involved in one of the wrecks in the NASAR Nationwide DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

But he still was smiling after the race -- a leftover glow of sorts -- from asking his girlfriend Samantha Sarcinella to marry him.

Busch had tried to keep it secret but his brother Kurt, in talking to reporters, gave him up.

Kurt Busch said he offered no advice to his baby brother.

"Kyle's grown up and he got engaged all by himself," Kurt Busch said. "He made the call. I'm not there to give brotherly advice about marriage situations. I could have given advice on where to buy a ring, but he had that taken care of.

"He texted me at 11 p.m. last Thursday and said: 'Come on over. I've got something to tell you.' I'm like, 'Oh, boy -- he's either getting married or she's pregnant,' so I'm glad that he's doing it in the right order."

Money talks

Paul Menard got to start Saturday's Nationwide race in the No. 98 Ford after originally being on the outside looking in.

When rain washed out qualifying Friday, Menard found himself behind five cars eligible to make the race.

But up stepped his father -- billionaire John Menard -- who apparently convinced those five teams to withdraw their entries.

And voila, the No. 98 gets a starting spot.

Rumours has it that the five drivers -- Jeff Fuller, Donnie Neuenberger, Dennis Setzer, Mark Green and rookie Parker Kligerma -- all walked away a little richer than they were when they got to Daytona.

Scam artist

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger and former Champ Car World Series driver Ryan Dalziel were among dozens of victims of a scam artist -- who was once a teammate of Toronto's Paul Tracy.

Former race-car driver Henri Zogaib was arrested on Friday near Daytona Beach on an organized fraud charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials said.

Investigators believe that Zogaib -- through his company, Executive Investment Group -- took money from 19 investors with the promise of large returns. Instead, he used the money himself, in part to fund his racing efforts in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.

It is not known how much Allmendinger may have invested in the scheme but Dalziel told police he is out almost $1 million US.

According to police reports, both Dalziel and his father lost their homes as a result of the fraud.

"I have a judgment against him for more than $600,000," Dalziel said. "But that doesn't mean I'll ever see any of it."

Zogaib allegedly convinced investors that he was the close friend of an iron ore magnate that would help him make a quick 38% return on investors' money. Dalziel said he thinks Zogaib alledgedly swindled $30 million from his race pals.

Zogaib co-drove with a long list of top drivers, including Tracy, Roberto Moreno, Allan McNish, Mike Rockenfeller and Lucas Luhr.

Dalziel and Zogaib won the Grand-Am race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2008, with Zogaib driving the first 25 minutes of the race, Dalziel the rest in the Samax BMW-Riley car.

It's safe to say the partnership is over.

"I only hope he gets what he deserves," Dalziel said.

DEAN.MCNULTY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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