A streak was broken last night under the howling full moon of Richmond International Raceway. The past four years, Kyle Busch has won the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond. Even during last year, a year filled with adversity and plain old bad luck, he was able to pull out a win here.
Last night, it seemed like all the bad luck of 2012 showed up in force as Busch was not able to get his car tuned in and then was involved in a wreck with Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. For the day, Busch would finish in 24th position. This was certainly not the weekend he wanted after getting in a wreck last weekend at Kansas Speedway that sent him and Joey Logano back to the garage for the rest of the race.
In fact, early-race Busch and the rest of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars all looked to be doing the best as the Toyota car of Matt Kenseth dominated the lead then gave it to Busch for a short time. However, it wasn’t meant to be and the highest Joe Gibbs Racing finish was Kenseth who ended up in seventh when the checkered flag fell.
The performance of the last two weeks begs the question, has Kyle Busch fallen back to old ways completely? In the yesteryear of 2008, Busch was winning races all over the pantheon often even back to back. Yet, he also had rough finishes in between and when Chase time came Busch just couldn’t close the way he was able to in the regular season.
So has Busch really matured into a better driver with the experience to contend for a championship? Or has he just gone back to his old ways? No one can tell until the Chase begins in September.