Las Vegan Kyle Busch dead last in Chase

Sep 23, 2008 7:05 PM

Finish Line by Micah Roberts | Las Vegan Kyle Busch had a rough outing for the second consecutive race last week in Dover. We used to discuss things associated with Kyle, and consecutive, as wins and top 5’s, but now we’re discussing poor outings and the Chase.

Kyle is currently dead last in the Chase, 210 points behind the leader. The largest deficit any eventual champion ever came back from in the Chase was 165 points done by Jimmie Johnson in 2006. It seems so far out of reach, but in a weird way, it seems achievable, especially for Busch.

You would think that Busch’s odds would fall into the also ran area. Last week after a poor run, Busch was still a respectable 5-2. This week after another poor run his odds are 8-1.

The sole reason for the respect is basically because of what we all witnessed this season with Busch. He and his team have the ability to reel off three wins in a row and take 5 of 6. He’s that scary good. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean Busch can’t do it, because he’s proved the odds wrong eight times in 28 races this season.

The driver who rolls into this week’s race in Kansas City, Kansas with the swagger of a feared Dodge City gunslinger is Greg Biffle. Two races out of the gate and two wins for Biffle. He sits tied for second with Johnson, only 10 points behind Carl Edwards.

Should Biffle win the championship, he would become the only driver to ever win a title in all three of NASCAR’s major series. Can Biffle make it three in a row this week? Let’s see. He won this race last season and has the best driver rating of any driver at Kansas over the last five seasons.

I’d say his chances are pretty good and the odds reflect it. Johnson, Busch, Edwards, and Biffle have all been installed as co-favorites to win at 6-1. Kansas Speedway is in the classic cookie cutter mold with 15 degrees of banking in the turns and lots of room on the 1.5 mile tri-oval.

This track is different from many of the others and has its own traits, but can be closely linked to Chicagoland if pressed to find a like-facility. Just to re-visit that race held back in July, Johnson had a pretty large lead late in the race when a caution came out.

Busch was in second and quick on re-starts but not as good as Johnson on the long runs. Busch passed Johnson quickly and won his seventh race of the season up to that point. Other drivers who did well were Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, and Brian Vickers. Carl Edwards was a factor as well but had an equipment issue late that forced him out of contention.

 Let’s go with past history and current situations to determine this week’s choices. A very vanilla and unsatisfying bunch of choices!

 Here are the odds (c/o of Station Casinos) of other top drivers: Dale Earnhardt Jr 12-1, Jeff Gordon 15-1, Clint Bowyer 22-1, Kevin Harvick 18-1, Jeff Burton 20-1, Mark Martin 30-1, Matt Kenseth 11-1, Kurt Busch 35-1, Kasey Kahne 40-1, Denny Hamlin 15-1.

Micah Roberts is a race and sports director with Station Casinos, who has contributed to GamingToday for the last 11 years.

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Jimmie Johnson
Kyle Busch
Carl Edwards
Greg Biffle
Tony Stewart

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