Upon his return from "parked" status at Phoenix International Raceway, Kyle Busch showed why both his sponsors and team have been excessively patient with his troublesome actions.
He was relegated to start from 34th place due to having to replace his engine during the race weekend, as per NASCAR regulations.
In 183 laps, a bit more than half-way through the race, he had worked his way up 31 spots to third. Unfortunately for him, his engine blew up and he lost that spot by lap 187.
Very few drivers are capable of this. He was also able to translate a 25th place qualification into a second place at the Chase race in Charlotte.
Busch can get results, even when he has to start from behind. Yet, his intentional wrecking of Ron Hornaday under caution in Texas finally unleashed the prelude to the final straw.
He is down to his last strike with three large entities: NASCAR itself, Mars/M&Ms and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Although Mars/M&Ms did withdraw its sponsorship for the last two races of 2011 as a penalty, it is still officially committed to Busch in 2012.
What if, however, Busch were to lose this sponsorship, whether through a moment of insanity at Homestead Miami or an off-track incident, such as a DUI, etc.?
Here are some possible scenarios. It is necessary to keep in mind that some are based on simply losing Mars/M&Ms' primary sponsorship, while a few combine both that an an indefinite suspension from NASCAR.