With Kyle Busch winning the Sharpie 500 on Saturday, and after the inevitable climb from No. 15 in the points standing, the question circulating around NASCAR betting gamblers this week is how much does he have left in him, and how reliable is he as a pick to win in any future races?
Well Busch currently sits at 13, just 34 points shy of the chase for the cup cutoff behind Matt Kenseth. He has more wins than anyone above him, except Mark Martin, with whom he’s tied with 4. We all know Busch drives well at Bristol, but after observing the way he ran much of the race, one can speculate Busch is turning over a new leaf in driving etiquette, one that might not only help his chances of winning on other tracks, but bump him up as a personality in the eyes of NASCAR fans that aren’t already sweet in the young phenom.
There are two areas where Busch must continue to improve if he wants to get into that Top 12 chase class, and climb even higher. The first is consistency, and not only in how he finishes. He must drive smart and appropriately in every race, this season and in the future. Careless mistakes, be it from arrogance/ego or inexperience, are Busch’s worst enemy – it’s not the tracks, the other drivers or the weekly conditions., it’s Busch. And second, he has to keep his cool and drive calm. That’s not to say he can’t or shouldn’t become emotional during a race, but he can’t let that raw emotion consume him to the point where he’s – you got it – making mistakes or bad judgment calls on the track. I think Busch is getting to the point where he’d be the first to agree with that assessment.
The next race is Sept. 6 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and you can bet Busch will have moved up in the odds. Even away from Bristol, I can see him being a nascar betting line of 15:1 or better to win the race, and he’ll likely be the favorite against most racers in a one-on-one, even many in the current top 10. So should you ride the train? Not just yet. Give Busch another race or two before buying into his changes. Let’s see if he can establish that consistency, even if it doesn’t put him in the top 3 in the next couple events. After that, we still have a good 10 races this season to lay down some money on Busch, who could himself be in the top 10 by that time.