Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Talent of Kyle Busch


When people think of the most talent drivers they have witnessed, most people would say drivers such as Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, or Richard Petty. While I am in no way denying the greatness of any of these drivers, I didn’t get to see Earnhardt or Petty race. Gordon who I believe to be the Greatest NASCAR driver of all time, however, I did get to see drive, but while I did see flashes of his greatness he was already passed his prime years by the time I was old enough to remember exactly what I was witnessing. With the above being said, you’re probably thinking I’m about to say Jimmie Johnson, but that is where you are wrong.

The most talented driver I have seen is Kyle Busch. Why he may not have the numbers that Jimmie Johnson has in the top tier series but Kyle Busch also doesn’t have who in my opinion is the undisputed greatest crew chief in NASCAR history, Chad Knaus. Busch has some of the best car control I have seen, you will be hard-pressed to find an instance in which he wrecked a car all by himself. While early in his career he was known as a reckless dumb driver, that should not have taken away from the talent he had shown he had. While at Hendricks Motorsports I also don’t believe he was given the best of the equipment in the stable as Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were there two “top” drivers at the time. Finally with some questionable comments after winning the 2007 Food City 500 where he said “I can’t stand to drive them, they suck” about the new COT car after its first race and a free agent Dale Jr. Signing with Hendrick at the end of the 2007 season, Kyle was the odd man out at Hendrick Motorsports.

During the offseason, Kyle received a call from Joe Gibbs offering him a second chance in the sport and the opportunity to drive the 18 car. With this second chance, Kyle did not disappoint in any stretch of the imagination by posting a career-high eight wins in the first season at Gibbs. This is even more impressive when you take into account this was in the middle of Hendricks stranglehold on the sport. In 2008 you could at least count on the 18 car to give the Hendrick cars a run for their money. In all but two years at Gibbs, Busch has posted at least three wins with the other year posting one. With this being said that doesn’t say there have not been bumps along the road while driving for Gibbs. In 2011 while running a Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch was battling for the lead with Ron Hornaday Jr. who was battling for a championship. The two made contact off of turn two and Busch while the caution pursued Hornaday and wrecked him under the caution. This incident caused Busch to be parked the remainder of the weekend and surely had to be a humbling experience.

However, if his talent was in question to you at all the 2015 Sprint Cup Season should have laid all questions to rest. Sidelined due to a broken leg from a scary crash on a non safer barrier wall in the Daytona Xfinity race, Busch missed the first eleven races of the season. Many questioned if he would even get into the top 30 in points after he received a waiver to get in the chase because it was a flaw of a Track that had caused the injury. But what came was undoubtedly the most impressive feat I have witnessed in my years watching the sport. Kyle not only got in the top 30 in points but also posted 4 wins in the races leading to the chase which gave him placement. Over the first nine race of the Chase, Kyle was as consistent as can be which paved his way to the final 4 at Homestead-Miami where he won his 5th race of the year along with his first championship. This is just the type of thing that puts me in awe of the talents of Busch. While most drivers would just hold themselves in doubt and not give themselves a chance, Busch felt like he belonged and used a massive chip on his shoulder to complete the biggest comeback in NASCAR history. While leaving Hendrick was probably the best thing that happened to the career of Kyle Busch, letting him go is undoubtedly the worst decision the Rick Hendrick has ever made. Whether he fit the clean-cut good guy mold of the team of not, he has undeniable generational talent that will around to do amazing things for years to come.