After consecutive finishes of 34th and 43rd respectively at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway, it would be easy to consider Kyle Busch’s hopes for a championship this year finished.
While most of us would stop short of saying that he’s out of it, his chances right now don’t look good. Regardless of what happened to that Joe Gibbs Racing team’s dominance, one thing is certain: Busch better win the Cup this year.
Why, you ask?
Busch started off this season with something to prove. After being booted from last year’s super-team in favor of NASCAR’s prodigal son, Busch had a chip on his shoulder. No one could argue that he wasn’t the weakest link (performance-wise) on Hendrick Motorsports, yet he still got the axe.
So, he set out to prove, “I’m better than Hendrick; I’m better than Junior; I’m better than everyone!” And, for the first 26 races, he did just that. He won eight of the first 26 Sprint Cup races, eight Nationwide races, and three Craftsman Truck Series races in a team that finished second once, and no better than 10th any other time with J.J. Yeley behind the wheel last season.
If he doesn’t turn it on and somehow pull of a comeback that would be nothing short of miraculous, do you think he won’t have any even bigger chip on his shoulder next season?
If he finishes anywhere in the points besides first, he’ll come back next season, more focused, driven, and bitter, which as we’ve all seen, doesn’t bode well for the other drivers.
So, unless you want to see Kyle Busch win 16+ races next season, he better win the championship this season.