Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
Could Carl Edwards (left) and Kyle Busch surprise at Loudon?
Yes, we know their real names are Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch. But much like fellow driver Joey Logano, Edwards and Busch have nothing to lose at New Hampshire.
Missing the Chase will do that to a driver. That's why we can see both drivers doing everything they can to make sure folks don't forget about them and that they're still forces to reckon with—particularly those contenders in the Chase.
Busch is coming off a Top 5 finish in the Chase opener at Chicago last weekend, and showed signs of the Kyle Busch we have come to know and love—or hate, if you're not a KB fan—so well.
This has been an off season for Busch in many ways, both on and off the track. He's been extremely quiet on the Cup front—one of the main reasons he missed the Chase—and he's been like a virtual choir boy in his off-track exploits. Don't be surprised if a significant part of that is due to edicts from his sponsors to toe the line—or else.
Edwards is arguably one of the most embarrassed drivers in Sprint Cup this season. After such a great battle with Tony Stewart last season, only to lose the championship due to a tiebreaker of most wins over the course of the season, Edwards was a mere shell of himself in 2012.
He still hasn't won a race in 2012. He failed to make the Chase. With so many whispers about his team and its chemistry (or lack thereof), Edwards may still be smiling, but he has had very little to smile about this season.
Nothing could get Edwards back on track faster than a big win, and New Hampshire could be just the place—and offer just the ticket—to do so. Let's face it, with just one win in his last 53 Cup starts, Edwards is far overdue to get back to victory lane.
I mean, it's been so long since he took a Cup checkered flag—March 6, 2011 at Las Vegas—you almost have to wonder. If he does win again, will he remember how to do his trademark celebratory backflip? It better happen soon, lest he fall flat on his face, much like the way his season has looked to date.