Kurt Busch, Penske Championship Racing

by KFFL Staff on January 18, 2011 @ 19:00:00 PDT


Kurt Busch | No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge | Penske Championship Racing

Kurt Busch

After looking like a legitimate title contender for the first half of 2010, Busch collapsed in the second half of the year. He still made the Chase, but he was a never a factor for the title. The two drastically different seasons have plenty of questions surrounding Busch as he enters the 2011 season.

There will be plenty of pressure on Busch to put his poor second half behind him. Shell-Pennzoil joined Penske Racing in the offseason to sponsor Busch and the newly formed No. 22 team. Unfortunately for Busch, there was really no obvious reason why he struggled. He managed just two top-five finishes in the final 18 races of 2010, and he was borderline unpickable in fantasy leagues.

Before fantasy owners get the wrong idea, it's highly unlikely that Busch has suddenly lost his talent behind the wheel. He still managed two wins and 17 top-10s last season. Busch has had a few down years, but he has at least one victory in every year since 2002 and has finished outside the top 15 in the final standings only twice during the stretch.

Busch is a threat to win at almost any 1.5-mile and 2.0-mile oval, and he is one of the top superspeedway options in the series. In fact, Busch has a 16.9 average finish or better at all four track types, which is why he is always in the mix for a Chase spot and why he deserves to be taken early in Draft and Play leagues. He probably doesn't have what it takes to be an elite force for an entire season, but he can certainly put up solid numbers in any fantasy format.

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