There is no doubt in my mind that Kyle Busch is the most talented driver in NASCAR right now. The kid can flat-out drive a car and has done many amazing things behind the wheel. It's truly remarkable to see some of the things he does with a race car.
Since arriving in NASCAR, the phenom has collected 104 victories across the sport's three major series—23 in Sprint Cup, 51 in the Nationwide Series and 30 in the Truck Series. And even though he's done all of this, he's only been able to take home one championship, which was the Nationwide title in 2009.
Busch began racing full time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2005, one year after the "Chase for the Cup" was implemented.
He made the Chase during his second season in Sprint Cup, after winning a race and posting 10 top-5 finishes, along with 18 top-10s. He would go on to struggle in the Chase and finish 10th in the standings.
Two years later, in the 2008 season, Busch led the series with eight victories, all coming in the first 22 races. He seemed to be a lock to take home the championship, but when the Chase started, it all went downhill.
To start off the Chase that season, Busch posted finishes of 34th, 43rd, 28th and 15th. After the fourth race, he was already 11th in points. He'd then go on to post finishes of fourth, 29th, fifth, sixth, eighth and 19th, eventually finishing the year 10th in points. It was definitely a forgetful second half of the season for Busch, as he was undoubtedly the best driver for the first 26 races.
In 2009, Busch won four races but missed the Chase. The following season, No. 18 collected three more victories but struggled in the Chase yet again with finishes of ninth, sixth, 21st, 35th, second, fourth, 25th, 32nd, 13th and 32nd. He finished the season eighth in points.
Last season, Busch won four races and made the Chase yet again. But like every other year, he struggled when it came to the Chase races and as we all know, he let his anger get the best of him during a Truck race at Texas involving Ron Hornaday. That led Busch to be suspended for a race and thus, ended his championship hopes even though he was practically eliminated at that point anyway.
But I believe Busch takes care of all those issues this season and goes on to collect his first Sprint Cup Championship. I believe he will win at least two races in the Chase and run up front for the majority of the races. He just needs to be consistent in that 10-race span, something he hasn't been able to do since arriving in the sport's top level.
There's no doubt that Busch has the potential and the ability to win a championship, but he just needs to actually do it. I believe 2012 will be his season for the taking.
(And if not Busch, I believe it will be Kevin Harvick to take home the title.)