Aftermath, All-Star Race: Elder Busch Brother's Success Often Overshadowed

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 16: Kurt Busch, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch is one of the fastest guys around. But as quick as he is, the Penske Racing driver seems to have a poor sense of timing.

Think fast: Name Kurt Busch's most recent three victories.

Hopefully, you came up with the Sprint All-Star Race as one of them, since it was just two days ago.

But what were the others?

If you said the Atlanta race in March and the Texas race last fall, major props to you. Not many people seem to remember.

Why is it so difficult to recall Busch's wins? Because whenever he goes to Victory Lane, those associated with him just keep stealing his thunder.

A refresher:

  • The big story from Saturday night's All-Star race was Busch's younger brother Kyle getting into it with teammate Denny Hamlin.
  • In Atlanta, all anyone talked about was Busch's Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski soaring through the air after contact with Carl Edwards. 
  • At Texas last year, it was Busch's other Penske teammate Sam Hornish Jr. taking out Chase leader Jimmie Johnson in the early laps.

So in Busch's past three victories, all anyone has wanted to talk about is Busch himself.

But whether anyone gives him the attention or not, Busch is one of the five top talents in all of NASCAR right now (and has been for years) and is building a career that will eventually put him in the Hall of Fame.

Don't believe me? Just look at the stats.

Busch now has 21 career wins, which means of the current full-time drivers in the Sprint Cup Series, only Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Tony Stewart have more.

Before he was really "ready" to win a championship in 2004, he won a title on raw ability alone. And there's no question he's an even better driver now than he was then.

He's not done winning, either. His pairing with crew chief Steve Addington has already proven to be an excellent combination, and he remains a darkhorse for the championship this season.

But Busch remains disliked by a majority of fans, and gets some of the most boos every week. Yet except for continuing to be a terror on his team radio at times, Busch hasn't had any controversies of late.

Think fast, Part II: Aside from his radio chatter, when's the last time Busch was in the spotlight for a negative reason?

Maybe I'm overlooking something, but it seems like it was the 2008 incident during practice for the Budweiser Shootout in which he tangled with Tony Stewart and later got punched in the NASCAR hauler.

But that's more than two years ago. For the most part now, Busch stays out of trouble, is pleasant with the media and cracks jokes that are funny but don't always draw big laughs – again, perhaps because he doesn't have the best timing.

It's a far cry from 2006, when Busch was listed as No. 3 on a major magazine's list of the most hated athletes, behind Terrell Owens and Barry Bonds.

Back then, younger brother Kyle received boos for being associated with Kurt. Now, Kurt gets booed for being associated with Kyle.

Can Kurt ever win over the fans? In his current state, probably not. He doesn't piss them off, but he still doesn't appeal to them, either.

Ultimately, he may have to settle for winning races and being one of the best drivers in the series without getting love from the fans until he retires. Then, no one will remember he wasn't very popular.

In the meantime, the only sense of timing that matters to Busch is showing up at the finish line before anyone else.

And whether people notice or not, he seems to do that quite well.

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