There is no truth to the rumor that Kyle Busch injured his lower back by bowing so many times after race victories in 2010.
Perhaps the opposite is true — Busch’s back might be more flexible because of all the activity.
Busch, still only 25 years old, totaled 24 victories across NASCAR’s three major series in 2010. More often than not, the driver also known as Rowdy and Shrub was a victory threat when NASCAR engines were fired.
His wins came in clumps, particularly in mid-August when he had a series of historic rides at Bristol Motor Speedway. He won the Truck race, the Nationwide race and the Cup race to become the first driver in history to score that sweep.
Busch was a man on a mission in the Nationwide Series. He already held the seasonal record for wins with 10 (tied with Sam Ard), but he buried that mark in 2010 with 13 victories, finishing third in the series point standings despite missing six races.
In the Truck Series, he won eight of 16 races and won the owner championship in the first season of Kyle Busch Motorsports’ involvement in the series.
In Cup, Busch won three times and finished eighth in points, his run at what would have been a first Cup championship stained by poor runs in the Chase. His point finish was his best, however, since 2007.
Over at Richard Childress Racing, the 2010 holiday season will be much more pleasant than the same period in 2009.
None of RCR’s Cup teams made the Chase in 2009, and work on turning around that situation actually began in the closing months of the season as the Welcome, N.C., organization tried to re-establish its strength for 2010.
Harvick, who had a shot in the final race at scoring RCR’s first championship since 1994, had a stunningly consistent season. He finished in the top 10 in 26 of 36 races. No other driver totaled more than 23 in that category.
Harvick won three times, and Clint Bowyer scored twice, although one of his wins was tainted by NASCAR penalties.
Harvick finished third in points. Bowyer rallied to take 10th, and Burton, the only one of the three to go winless, was 12th.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.