Seeking his fourth consecutive truck series victory, Busch will race tomorrow night at Chicagoland Speedway.
Busch also is a master at annoying his rivals. After he spun Brad Keselowski's car in the closing laps of Bristol's Nationwide series race to win, Busch was loudly booed by the fans.
Busch was booed again during driver introductions prior to Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at the eastern Tennessee track. In a nice touch, the drivers introduced themselves. When it was Keselowski's turn, he concluded his introduction by saying, "Kyle Busch is an ass." The crowd roared.
Busch, 25, seems to enjoy the villain's role. And, face it, he adds some spice to what has evolved, in many respects, into a bland sport.
The Busch we see at races is far different from the Kyle Busch who met with the media last summer for dinner at Delaware's Dover International Speedway. That Kyle Busch could have charmed the gloves off the Queen of England.
The main question regarding Busch is, can he maintain his winning level through the Chase for the Championship? He has climbed to third in points.
Last year, Busch missed the Chase by just eight points after winning four races prior to the Chase.
Two years ago, he won eight of the season's first 22 races. Entering the Chase, he was favored to gain his first Cup title. Instead, he began the Chase with three consecutive bad finishes and stumbled home 10th in the standings.
Cup race in Canada?
Several Sprint Cup series drivers, including Carl Edwards
, the winner of last year's race, and Marcos Ambrose
are returning to Montreal for Sunday's Nationwide series event. Edwards passed Ambrose on the final turn for the '09 win.
Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard are also racing in Montreal.
During a Tuesday conference call, Edwards was asked if he thinks a Cup race in Canada would be successful.
"The fan presence is there," he said. "The race track and the city are just fun to go to. It's like going to Kentucky or Iowa: They love stock-car racing. It's a change of pace for them. I was standing in victory lane [after winning last year] and the crowd was singing in unison. I had never seen anything like it."
Crowds in the 60,000 range have turned out for each of the first three Nationwide races in Montreal.
Jacques Villeneuve, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and '97 Formula One champion, will be driving the No. 32 Toyota on the circuit named after his late father, Gilles. Just 32, Gilles was killed in a crash during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.
Making his national series debut, in Montreal, will be Paulie Harraka. The Duke University junior won in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series West last year. He also has a victory this year.
Harraka, from Wayne, N.J., is featured in the "Changing Lanes" series premiering Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the BET network. The series focuses on minority and female racers hoping to move into NASCAR's top three series.
Rallycross at NJMP
Rallycross racing, popular in Europe, is coming to the New Jersey Motorsports Park.
This weekend, the Millville racing facility will host the first of three U.S. RallyCar Rallycross Championship weekends. Among those scheduled to race are Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Tanner Faust.
Rallycross, a combination of drifting, sports-car racing and closed-course off-road racing, was included in this summer's X Games. For more information, check www.njmp.com.
No Sprint Cup this week
There are some other series races on this weekend's calendar:
ARCA Series: Ansell Protective Gloves 150
Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Ill.
When: Friday, 7 p.m. TV: Speed
Camping World Truck Series: EnjoyIllinois.com 225
When: Friday, 9 p.m. TV: Speed
Nationwide Series: NAPA Auto Parts 200
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
When: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. TV: ESPN
SPRINT CUP STANDINGS (Through 24 of 36 races)
1. Kevin Harvick 3521
2. Jeff Gordon 3242
3. Kyle Busch 3170
4. Carl Edwards 3113
5. Denny Hamlin 3108
6. Tony Stewart 3107
7. Jeff Burton 3101
8. Matt Kenseth 3095
9. Jimmie Johnson 3077
10. Kurt Busch 3073
11. Greg Biffle 3055
12. Clint Bowyer 2920
Sprint Cup Chase cut line
13. Jamie McMurray 2820
14. Mark Martin 2819
15. Ryan Newman 2802
16. Kasey Kahne 2784
17. David Reutimann 2765
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2750
19. Juan Montoya 2728
20. Martin Truex Jr. 2660
Track facts: Jimmie Johnson has just one top-10 finish (10th at Pocono) in his last seven races . . . Hard to believe, but 24 races into the season half the drivers in the top 12 haven't won a race: Jeff Gordon, Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Kenseth and Clint Bowyer . . . NASCAR reinstated Randy LaJoie, a crew member of the No. 18 Nationwide team, for completing counseling. The former racer was suspended June 22 for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy.
Cup wins: Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson, 5 each; Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, 3 each; Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch, 2 each; Ryan Newman, David Reutimann, Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, 1 each.
Sept. 5: Emory Healthcare 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga., 7:30 p.m.; TV: ESPN; last year's winner: Kasey Kahne.
Sept. 11: One Last Race to Make the Chase 400, Richmond, Va. (7:30 p.m., 6ABC)
Sept. 19: SYLVANIA 300, Loudon, N.H. (1 p.m., ESPN)
Sept. 26: AAA 400, Dover, Del. (1 p.m., ESPN)
Oct. 3: Kansas 400, Kansas City, Kan. (1 p.m., ESPN)
Oct. 10: Pepsi Max 400, Fontana, Calif. (3 p.m., ESPN)
Oct. 16: Banking 500, Concord, N.C. (7:30 p.m., 6ABC)
Oct. 24: Tums Fast Relief 500, Martinsville, Va. (1 p.m., ESPN)
Oct. 31: AMP Energy 500, Talladega, Ala. (1 p.m., ESPN)
Nov. 7: Lone Star 500, Fort Worth, Texas (3 p.m., ESPN)
Nov. 14: Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Avondale, Ariz. (3 p.m., ESPN)
Nov. 21: Ford 400, Homestead, Fla. (1 p.m., ESPN)