Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 9/17/14

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 21: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship and the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Kyle Busch who finished in the 13th place in the final standings. 2012 Statistics: Points: 1,133 Position: 13th Preseason Pick: 10th Starts: 36 Poles: 2 Wins: 1 Top 5s: 13 Top 10s: 20 DNFs: 4 Earnings: $6,599,391 What Was Said Prior To The Season: “With all the talk about Kyle concentrating on Sprint Cup only in 2012, you’d think he’d be a shoe in for the title. Because everyone has said, he does too much other stuff to win it all. Well here we are and I’m putting him 10th, why is that? I’m not sold on Joe Gibbs Racing as a whole being a strong enough team in 2012 to put him to the top. Then, after all, is the man behind the wheel. I boasted last year about how he changed and he didn’t change one bit. It just took two months longer for his real self to show in the season. Maturity is not there and I don’t think the team is there yet. He’ll win, but he’ll also lose too, but he won’t have the consistency needed for the title.” What Happened In 2012: Who was driving the #18 car in 2012? It wasn’t Kyle Busch like the results read, it had to be someone else. Only one win all season long, and that came early at Richmond, led to a very long season for Busch. The bright spot is he finished very strong, scoring eight top 10 finishes in the final 10 races, but he wasn’t in the Chase. My recap would have been a lot cheerier had he not been beat out of the Chase by Jeff Gordon at Richmond. On To 2013: Consistency was there late in the season, but engine woes hampered him in the middle of the season. I think this team might have something to be strong in 2013, especially adding veteran Matt Kenseth to the lineup that will help Busch. He will just have to keep his cool and keep working out there and the results will come.
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