Like It or Not The Dynamic Duo of Joe Gibbs Racing Is on a Roll

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJune 9, 2010

LONG POND, PA - JUNE 04:  Kyle Busch (L), driver of the #18 M&M's Pretzel Toyota, talks with his crew chief Dave Rogers in the garage prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 4, 2010 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

Neither the driver nor crew chief wears a Superman cape, but this dynamic duo is ready to leap into championship status.

Kyle Busch and his crew chief Dave Rogers have proven a potent force at Joe Gibbs Racing this year.

Many thought Rogers to be a bad choice for the crew chief position, but consistent strong finishes indicate otherwise.

Kyle Busch finished second in last Sunday's Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway.  His history with the troubling triangular track has been less than rewarding.

He was able to run near the front throughout the race and by finishing second he now stands fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings.

The team of Rogers and Busch now head to Michigan looking for a win in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

The driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing is not only second to Kevin Harvick in the Sprint Cup points, but he is second in the NASCAR Nationwide point standings as well.

Second place is a position he has often been relegated to at the end of a race.  For Kyle Busch, that is just losing.

Busch has not won at Michigan, but his record reflects one top-five and three top-10 finishes there.

The JGR driver described Michigan International Speedway saying, "It's just a fun place to race.  Its wide-open racing and you can run from top to bottom.  The biggest thing is trying to get grip there."

Dave Rogers has been able to rein in the wild child a bit by having Busch not over-drive his car and defeat himself.

Rogers was content as a winning NASCAR Nationwide crew chief at JGR until Joe Gibbs asked him to assume Sprint Cup crew chief duties for the No. 18 team after the dismissal of Steve Addington in late 2009.

In an interview after finishing third at Charlotte Motor Speedway last month, Busch said, "He came into this deal not knowing a lot about these cars.  He's really gone to work, learned, made a lot of sacrifices.  I can't thank him enough for doing it."

Rogers has made his driver a consistent contender for wins with Busch having eight consecutive top-10 finishes.

Rogers spoke of his relationship with Kyle saying, "We can tell each other when we think we're wrong, and it's not personal.  I couldn't be happier."

It has been quite a ride for Rogers who joined JGR in 1998 doing mostly component studies.  He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a masters in vehicle dynamics.

Now he is teamed with a racing phenom that can virtually drive the wheels off of anything.

The 25-year old young man has NASCAR Sprint Cup championships in his future.  He already has won the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Championship.  

Kyle Busch seems to have a natural talent for driving a race car, but his petulance and impulsive behavior made him the driver NASCAR fans loved to hate.

His signature bow after winning used to start a frenzy of boos coming from the stands, but as this season unfolds cheers erupt after he takes a win in whatever series he may be driving in.

Now under the guidance of Dave Rogers, Busch sets his sights on making the Chase and seriously contending for the 2010 Sprint Cup title.

He is a threat to top-tier drivers including his teammate Denny Hamlin, who many think is the one to dethrone Jimmie Johnson.

The cool factor of Rogers tempers the fiery side of Busch.

Together this dynamic duo of the racing kingdom is out to grab a NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship and to do it soon.