Every year, like clockwork or the turning of the seasons, someone invariably writes/says/bloviates that Kyle Busch has matured, finally, fusing his immense driving talent -- no one in NASCAR is a better wheel man -- to the sort of mindset it takes to win a Sprint Cup title.
Yeeaaaaaah. Well, not so much.
There's a reason the Blob has always been skeptical every time someone decides Busch's success in the "regular season" means he'll be a factor in the Chase, and stunts like he pulled Friday night are why. Deliberately wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution in the truck race not only was incredibly immature and stupid (some would say they're one and the same), it wound up costing the entire Joe Gibbs operation. Busch probably wasn't going to win the Cup for Gibbs anyway, but now that he's parked for the weekend, he's taken that completely off the table.
I don't imagine the sponsors whose dollars fuel Gibbs' racing teams are terribly thrilled, either.
Bottom line: Busch is as much a liability to Gibbs as an asset. Because as good as he is when the pressure's largely off in the regular season, it's when the pressure's on that separates champs from chumps -- and Busch is lousy when the pressure's on. It's why he invariably crashes and burns in the Chase.
If I'm Gibbs, I think I finally recognize that now. And I cut him loose.