Kyle Busch: Future NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, or the Next Reality TV Star?

Paul Carreau@@PaulCarreauAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2010

Kyle Busch, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning at Dover in May.
Kyle Busch, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning at Dover in May.Jason Smith/Getty Images

As race No. 2 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup is getting ready to go green this weekend at Dover, Kyle Busch has a chance to make some big time history.

Busch has the chance to be the first person to be on the championship winning team, whether as the owner or driver, in all three of NASCAR's top three divisions in the same season.

And yet for some reason, at least in the quest for the Sprint Cup Championship, Busch is flying under the radar.

"I don't think it really matters," said Busch, when asked at his teleconference on Tuesday if it mattered to him if he came in to the Case as an underdog or one of the favorites. "Teams will do what they have to do to try and run well, and win races."

In 2008, after winning an incredible eight races in the first 26, Busch went into the Chase as the top seed and clear cut favorite to win his first Championship.

After problems in the first three chase races, and finishes outside the top 25, including a last-place effort at Dover, this weekend's race venue, Busch quickly saw his Championship dreams turned into a nightmare, as he went winless the rest of the season and only managed a 10th place finish in the year end standings.

This season is different. Busch comes to Dover currently fourth in Championship points, with three wins to his credit. But no one is really talking about him.

At the start of the Chase, the headlines were about Jimmie Johnson and his quest for a fifth straight Championship.

There were also many stories written about Denny Hamlin, and his series-high six victories, and how he would be the man to finally wrestle the trophy away from Johnson.

Kevin Harvick, and his resurgent season that has seen him dominate the point standings, has made a lot of noise. Even the winless Carl Edwards, and how red hot he has been as of late, and the threat that he poses to win it all got plenty of attention.

Now that the Chase has one race in the books, Clint Bowyer has suddenly become the first name out of everyone's mouth.

It seems hard to fathom that a man on the verge of possibly winning a championship in each series can be so easily overlooked, but it has happened, and Busch for one, is alright with it.

When talking about some of the tracks coming up on the schedule, Busch was quick to point out that there are few tracks, Dover, California, Charlotte, and Phoenix that he really feels confident about. There are two tracks however, Martinsville and Talladega, that are places "where anything can happen," according to Busch.

With 22 of Busch's 64 career top-five finishes, including five between the two "wild-card" tracks, coming on the nine tracks remaining, there is plenty of reason for optimism going forward. 

And that optimism has carried over into both the Nationwide Series and the Truck Series. In the Nationwide Series, Busch, the 2009 Nationwide Series Champion, is one win short of setting the single-season win record with what he soon hopes in victory No. 11.

All the while, he is attempting to help land team owner Joe Gibbs, the Nationwide Series Owners Championship, in which the team currently holds a 51-point lead over the 22 car owned by Roger Penske.

When asked about his schedule for the Nationwide Series for the remainder of the year, Busch thinks that "it's all the rest, except for one," with Gateway being the only race he expects not to be in the car for.

And in the Truck Series, the Kyle Busch owned truck, currently sits only 25 points out of the lead for the Owner's Championship. But worrying about three championships has not cost Busch any focus.

According to Busch, regardless of the series he is in at the given moment he just goes out, and races every week, the best that he can. And the results have shown that his best is better than most others'.

The significance of the possible history is not lost on Kyle however. He knows that winning championships in all three series would be a real big deal. And according to Busch "If that happens, I think it would be nothing but awesome."

And while Busch hunts down the Sprint Cup Championship, he also took the time to film an ESPN special, showing the ins and outs of the daily grind that makes up his life.

And while Busch admits that doing the filming was fun, and gave fans a chance to see him from a different perspective, unless the opportunity to do another show like this one comes up again, his reality TV life should be coming to an end.

If the choices were being a Sprint Cup Championship winning driver, or a reality television star, I think it's fair to say that Kyle is probably making the right choice.