NASCAR Sprint Cup: Kurt Busch Lucky to Still Be in Pack for the Chase

Ken ArmerSenior Writer IOctober 10, 2011

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 08:  Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 8, 2011 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

To say Kurt Busch had a bad weekend would be a major understatement. At some points it looked as though he was standing still, and early on even led Busch himself to joke with his pit crew that he was driving on banana peels. While the comment was made with humorous intent, he is lucky to be sixth in Sprint Cup standings.

It seems of late it's hit or miss for the Shell/Pennzoil Dodge. After a terrible showing at Loudon, rebounding to win at Dover and then running on banana peels this past weekend at Kansas it makes one wonder if consistency can be achieved for the No. 22 Dodge.

The team has been back and forth almost all year with consistency problems. But in the mix of the Chase, with many other teams hitting their stride, Busch and his team still struggle to find the balance. Don't get me wrong, things could be worse, such as No. 11 Denny Hamlin who is missing in action on the race track, but Kurt has at times had an unbeatable car. So how can he at other times go from Godliness to barely top 20?

To have consistent problems almost every week with being too loose or too tight leads this writer to question if someone is not doing their job. Steve Addington might be the first to blame, but something tells me it isn't him. He seems too frustrated over the car setup for it to be his fault. Only someone who stays up at night worrying about it can get that look at a continued problem, and Addington looks ready for the loony bin.

Quite possibly it's on Busch, not come race day, because he is all too vocal about fixing his car on race day, but quite possibly it is Busch in practice. Has his three poles during the year gone to his head? Is he not vocal enough about problems during the week and come the weekend things only get worse?

No one can know for sure, especially with an every other week bad car, but one thing is for sure if the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge can practice and qualify well, look for him to be due for a top five position. Regardless, the pattern only goes sour come Talladega.