Hard-charging Kyle Busch and the NASCAR All-Star Race – a flat-out, give-no-quarter affair – should fit hand in glove. Not so far.
Busch not only has failed to win, he’s been down for the count more often than he’s taken the checkered flag. Busch has failed to finish four of seven all-star appearances, three times kayoed by accident.
Yet when the stars have aligned Busch has been very good: three poles, two top fives and three top 10s. He finished fourth in 2012 after leading 14 laps. And although he’s failed to record a NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Busch has won at the 1.5-mile track 10 times in NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck events. His All-Star Race Driver Rating of 106.7 is third best and higher than ratings of three-time race winners Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.
Busch brings two things to the All-Star that may have been lacking in previous years: speed and momentum. He’s already won twice and led seven of 11 races for 740 laps – roughly half of last year’s laps-led total during the full, 36-race season.
That should make the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota a solid pick to break his Sprint All-Star Race drought.