Kurt Busch started this offseason with a bang, starting a few weeks of constant Kurt-watch by flipping off the secret service at Homestead and ending it by signing with Phoenix Racing after leaving Penske.
While news is still being released about Kurt's upcoming season, I have some bold predictions to make about the new chapter of his racing career.
So without farther ado, here are 10 bold predictions about the elder Busch's 2012 season.
Kurt Busch has only been confirmed for one Nationwide race this year, but with Phoenix Racing running at all the major events, there's no doubt he'll be in more. In addition, he may drive for his brother's team (that lineup is supposed to be announced shortly).
Busch has three wins in 12 career Nationwide races, and I expect that he'll add at least two wins to that tally this year.
Kurt Busch is cutting back to a limited resources team in the Cup series this year, which means he'll care about winning more than points. With only a little worry about where he ends up in the points, I predict he'll win at least four races in the Sprint Cup series.
I also predict he'll do pretty well in the Top-10 placings of every race he runs.
James Finch told ESPN in early December that if Kurt Busch had acted like he did the past year while working for Finch, "he would have gotten his ass beat on pit road."
Because of this, I don't expect Busch to cause any problems with his team this year. In fact, I predict that his team may even enjoy working with him.
Kurt Busch had at least two media altercations last year, ripping up one reporter's notes after a press conference and the famous altercation of cussing out Dr. Jerry Punch.
I expect Busch to be more laid back this year and to handle questions with more maturity. In addition, I think if any media professionals ask for an interview, he will grant it and be more likable—even during delays of live interviews.
I predict that by Aug. 1, we will have an announcement that Kurt Busch will be driving full-time with one of the big teams again.
His deal with Phoenix Racing is just for a year, and once his drama has settled down, the big teams will look at him again. I doubt he'll go back to Penske, and Roush is a little iffy, but he will be back in one of the big cars.
With only a part-time schedule already lined up, I think Busch will pick up some random rides in cars for other races. I wouldn't be surprised if during the races he's not representing Phoenix Racing we see him in a car for another team.
I predict that even though he'll be in cars for smaller teams, he won't be driving start-and-park cars.
With his ego more in check after the last month or so, Kurt Busch will turn a corner and make more friends on pit road.
Will we see him hugging it out with Jimmie Johnson? I doubt it, but I think he will make some friends that can help him on the track.
This year is all about doing new things and discovering the fun of racing again. With this, I think he'll jump into a truck and run at least one race just for the fun of it.
Nothing has been announced about him racing trucks, but with the extra "spare" time he has, he could pick up a ride at almost any point.
This kind of combines everything in the previous slides, but Kurt will have fun for the first time in a long time.
Instead of seeing a tense driver that snaps everyone's head off, we will see a calm, collected driver that rolls with the punches no matter what is happening. His radio will get more boring, but he'll become a more likable guy.
This prediction has more to do with future seasons not yet settled.
Kurt Busch will win at least one more Sprint Cup championship in his career. The reality check of going back down to the minor teams will get the fire burning inside of him again, and we'll see him at the top of the point standings in future years.
This doesn't mean that he'll go back to being arrogant. Instead, he'll be a guy that most fans can cheer for when he lifts the trophy.