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CUP: Chase Bio — Kyle Busch

KYLE BUSCH, Joe Gibbs RacingPoints position: 3rd2010 season: 3 wins, 7 top-fives, 13 top-10sDefining moment: Bristol triple-crown

There is perhaps no more dangerous racer in the Chase for the Sprint Cup than Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing.

PHOTOS: 2010 Chase Contenders - Kyle Busch

At the ripe old age of 25, Busch already has won 79 races in NASCAR’s top three divisions, including 19 in the Sprint Cup Series. Just in terms of the Cup level, Busch already has more career race victories than Neil Bonnett or Geoffrey Bodine, and he’s tied with Davey Allison, Buddy Baker and Fonty Flock. Good company to be in, certainly.

There’s no denying Busch’s ability as a wheelman. His crowning moment of the season came two weeks ago at Bristol, where he swept the NASCAR Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Cup Series races, becoming the only driver in history to win in all three divisions in the same week at the same track.

In addition to Bristol, Busch has Cup victories at Richmond and Dover this season. Like many of his rivals, though, Busch has been startlingly inconsistent: In the nine races prior to his Bristol victory, his best finishes were a pair of eighth-place runs at the Brickyard 400 and Watkins Glen; his average finish in that stretch was a humble 20.444.

Busch’s extreme passion for racing is both his greatest ally, and at times his downfall. He is known to get frustrated easily and to have a short fuse, which in the past has at times worked against him. If his Chase gets off to a bad start, as it did two years ago, he will be hard pressed to make up enough ground to recover.

On the other hand, if he comes out of the gate strong, it would be no surprise at all if he were to go the distance and win what likely will be the first of multiple Sprint Cup championships. Nor would it be a surprise if he finished well back in the pack, either.

Asked what his plan was for the Chase, Busch indicated he didn’t know what was likely to happen this time around.

“How do you plan it?” Busch replied. “If I sat down and planned it, we would win every one of them and we’d be the champions. Plans don’t quite work out that well.”

PHOTOS: 2010 Chase Contenders - Kyle Busch