Jimmie Johnson tops Power Rankings as Chase kicks off
|Richmond Power Rankings|
|Kyle Busch swept into NASCAR's national touring series in 2001, a teenaged prodigy reputed to be everything his older brother Kurt was and more. Talented enough to earn five Nationwide Series wins at age 19 in 2004 -- the same year his brother won the Sprint Cup title -- and impetuous enough (so was the reputation) to upstage both of his older brother's most overt characteristics, Busch was branded from the start. Various missteps on and off the track only perpetuated that reputation.|
But even amid his own mistakes, Kyle has admittedly benefitted from the more tumultuous route taken by his older brother. Kurt Busch has at times felt misunderstood, miscast or underappreciated, but he's also committed enough of his own mistakes to make his constant struggle for respect a labor. His younger sibling saw it all. And just as both begin what could be an epic struggle among brothers for the Sprint Cup championship, the younger Busch might have again learned from watching Kurt come undone at an inopportune moment.
From riveting finishes to raging tempers, watch the best moments from the weekend in Richmond.
Kyle Busch, who enters the Chase for the Championship as the points leader, was wedged with other drivers in the breach between his brother and combatant Jimmie Johnson in a tense postrace press conference on Saturday at Richmond as both protagonists commented on their latest on-track confrontation and postrace word play. Kurt Busch, meanwhile, denied comments made before a national television audience about whether he was bothering Johnson mentally and shredded a transcript sheet bearing the remarks when they were presented to him by a reporter.
Certainly, both Buschs have found ways to perform at high levels even as their emotions betray them. Whether Kurt Busch allows this latest incident to become a distraction and possibly derail a season that has been held together despite slumps and team turmoil remains to be seen. Either way, his younger brother will be taking notes.