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Kyle Busch: is It Really Worth It to Run Nationwide Races?

October 7th, 2013 at 11:46 PM
By Clayton Caldwell

It was a disastrous weekend for Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway this past weekend from start to finish. On Friday Busch qualified his #18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota in the 18th position, not bad but not what was expected from that team. Then came practice on Saturday when Busch lost control of his car and destroyed his primary chassis forcing the team to use a backup and start at the rear of the field for Sunday's 400 mile event. 

Later on Saturday during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Busch got into Brad Keselowski, causing Keselowski to spin hard and crash into the outside wall. Keselowski was furious after the incident and Busch claimed his car was too tight to turn and that's what caused the incident. Whatever the issue was Busch made Keselowski so angry that he asked about the guidelines about wrecking another driver during the drivers meeting the following day for the Sprint Cup race. 

Nothing came out of Keselowski's anger but Busch had his own issues. He spun on lap 188 by himself and was in the back end of the field due to the spin. After trying to make his way through the field Busch got involved in a crash not of his doing when Carl Edwards made contact with the #18 Toyota. Busch spun and hammered the outside wall ending his day on lap 201. Busch finished in the 34th position and is now 35 points behind Matt Kenseth in the point standings and currently sits in the fifth position. 

What is more alarming is his sudden disappearance in the Chase in his career. Busch has won 24 races in his six seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing, none of those wins have come in the Chase. Here we are four races into the 2013 Chase and Kyle Busch is winless yet again in the Chase. 

You have to ask the question why? Why does Kyle Busch run so good in the regular season and struggle so badly in the Chase? Are these tracks not his type of racetracks? Busch has won at five of the ten racetracks in the Chase. 

Is it possible that Kyle Busch gets tired after all the racing he does. Busch has run the most races in NASCAR by a wide margin in 2013. Busch has run 60 races in NASCAR this year. Brad Keselowski is second on that list with 47 starts. Busch has been at or near the top of that list each of the last six seasons. 

There is no doubt that Busch has the talent to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule is a grueling one and there are a lot of drivers who are exhausted after a 36 race schedule. Flying from coast to coast from February to November with just three off weekends is enough to make the toughest person exhausted running just one race per weekend. Busch runs anywhere from two to three races a weekend. 

If running all the races helped Kyle Busch in the Cup Series I'd be all for it. However, Busch has run like garbage in the Chase and he hasn't behaved himself in the lower divisions to keep the distractions down on the Cup side. We all remember his incident with Ron Hornaday Jr in the Truck Series a few years ago. That resulted in Busch being suspended by NASCAR for one race and almost cost him his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing. Then came Saturday's fiasco with Brad Keselowski and you have to ask if it's worth it for Kyle Busch to run all the races in the lower divisions. 

Whatever the reason is for Busch running in the series there is no doubt it seems kind of pointless since he runs so terrible in the Chase. Maybe he'd be more fresh if he didn't run so many races in a season. 

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Tags: Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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