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Guess Who's Back!?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Kurt (left) and Kyle Busch reaffirmed their presence in NASCAR at Richmond. Photo: Getty Images

They're baaaaaack!  Did you miss them?

The sons of Tom and Gaye Busch are two of the most polarizing drivers in NASCAR.  You either cheer loudly for them or you cheer adamantly against them, but everyone has an opinion on Kurt and Kyle Busch.

After years of watching the Buschs parade to victory lanes around the country, those sickened to their stomachs by the sight finally got a full bottle of Pepto Bismol at the start of 2012.  But, the bottle ran empty quickly this weekend and the Busch brothers reminded that, love 'em or hate 'em, one thing they always did well was win races.

While Kurt is the only of the two to win a Cup championship (2004), Kyle is considered the more successful of the two at this point in their careers.  Kyle has won over more than 100 national series races and nothing proves his success in the business more than the ownership of a Nationwide Series car...one which his older brother often drives.

Kurt's career infamously melted down during a rough Chase last fall and he eventually "mutually parted ways" with Penske Racing.  Despite a homemade PR video affirming fans it was a positive step, it's hard to believe that leaving Penske was something Busch really wanted to do.  He ended up landing with Phoenix Racing, which has hinted it's struggling to fund a ride for the full 2012 Cup season.

In nine 2012 Cup races, Busch has registered just one top-10, when he snuck into ninth during a rain-shortened Auto Club 400.  He currently sits 26th place in the standings without a prayer for the Chase, not even the Wild Card.  For a guy that has made six of the eight Chases in history, including the last three, this has been a nightmare of a learning lesson for the older brother.

However, he alleviated some of the frustration this past weekend by winning the Nationwide Series race to get his younger brother his first ever win in the series as an owner.  (Kyle does hold the all-time record for most Nationwide Series wins as a driver with 51.)

He might have been inspired by his brother's performance.  He might have been excited by the owner's win.  Most likely, he was just at a place where he'd won three times and felt very comfortable.  No matter what the case, Kyle Busch drove a much-needed strong Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night and used a late caution to take the lead from Tony Stewart for his first win of the season.

"It was an awesome weekend all around," said Busch after the win.  "I don't know where that last caution came from, but it was a saving grace."

That it definitely was.  Congratulations NASCAR fans, Kyle Busch will again be a part of the Chase this season!

Notoriously one of the best cars in the first half of the season, Busch had been toiling in a strange obscurity in 2012.  He was rarely heard from and nowhere to be found in the standings.  That all changes with this win.

Not only does the Wild Card system that rewards wins make Busch an instant favorite to claim one of the spots if need be, but the win bumped him up to 11th place in the standings.  That puts him in a position where he might be able to qualify for the Chase automatically by finishing in the top-10.  Considering the increased confidence for a driver known for winning races, it's hard to think that between a hot streak or simply another race win, Kyle Busch won't somehow find his way into the 2012 Chase.

Buckle up, NASCAR!  The Busch brothers are back.