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Will Kyle Busch's single digit ruin his fantastic season?

by Dave Grayson
Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Kyle Busch winning in Charlotte
It's that time of the year again. The NASCAR themed media will be rewinding the clock to present us the highlights of the recently concluded 2010 season. This year's trip down memory lane will be unusually long because all three of NASCAR's national touring series were loaded with memorable moments.

Certainly one of them, guaranteed to make the top ten listing, will be Kyle Busch's one finger salute to a NASCAR official while parked on pit road at the Texas Motor Speedway. This single digit act cost the controversial driver $25,000 in fines and a probation period.

A perfect example of public reaction to the "Rowdy" one's single digit came from "Sweetie" the in house girl friend, aka the card carrying T shirt wearing member of the Junior Nation. During the championship weekend, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch won both the NASCAR Camping World and Nationwide Series races. Following the Nationwide Series win, a member of the ESPN broadcast team announced "Kyle Busch is now two for two at Homestead." Sweetie, with the middle fingers from each hand fully extended, said " yeah, and I bet he's counting the wins like this: one-two."

That cute moment from our living room pretty much exemplifies the current public perception of this driver. That's a shame, because Kyle Busch had an amazing year and compiled some staggering statistics in the process.

Beginning with NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series, Busch began the season launching his self owned Toyota Truck team. He entered 16 races which led to eight wins, 13 top five finishes, 14 top tens and collected $616,110 in prize money.

Kyle Busch Motorsports also won the coveted series owner's championship in its debut season a feat that is considered quite remarkable. This is especially true in light of the fact that the team lost its primary sponsor three weeks before the season started. In January Miccosukee Indian Gaming had a change in corporate leadership and with that came a change in their marketing strategy. The Busch team spent the 2010 season piecemeal sponsorship programs virtually one race at a time.

The team was also creating a successful season residing in temporary headquarters while waiting for their new race shop to be completed. The new home of Kyle Busch Motorsports officially opened on October 15th, in Mooresville-North Carolina. The new shop is considered to be a state of the art facility and quite possibly the first ever race shop in the motorsports industry that completely complies with the environmentally "green" philosophy.

If Busch's truck series stats were impressive then his stats in NASCAR's Nationwide Series were simply awesome. In 2010 Busch has 29 series starts, 13 wins, 22 top fives, 25 top tens and won $1,364.510 in prize money. He also led a series high 2,229 laps this year.

There were other accolades from the 2010 Nationwide Series season as well. In 2008 Busch tied the legendary Sam Ard for most wins in a season with ten. His record shattering 13 wins this year is a mark that may never be matched. He also reached a new series record of 9,466 laps led which more that surpasses the previous record, 8.082 laps, established by Mark Martin. All of these numbers led to his team, Joe Gibbs Racing, winning their third consecutive, and record tying, owner's championship. Busch finished third in the Nationwide Series' driver's standings despite only entering 29 of the 35 events.

The driver's final stats for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season saw Busch collect three wins, 10 top fives and 18 top tens. He finished eighth in the final driver's points and won $6,732,738 in prize money.

Just to prove how incredible Kyle Busch's season really was, let's do some math. His 2010 stats, from all three of NASCAR's national touring series, totals to: 81 starts, 24 wins, 45 top fives, 57 top tens and a whopping $8,713,358 in earnings.

Sadly, when the best of 2010 is compiled, it's Busch's moment in time at the Texas Motor Speedway that's going to get the most attention. A single digit, from this driver's left hand, is going to completely diminish a season filled with amazing numbers.

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