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Kyle Busch much better off in NASCAR than Formula One

Chris Symeon, Motorsports Editor

The Inside Line Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Five years after making his Sprint Cup Series debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch captured perhaps the biggest victory of his young career at his hometown track - doing so in impressive style.

Busch drove from the rear of the field to win Sunday's Shelby 427. The Las Vegas native was credited as the race's first winner from the pole, but an engine change forced him to start from the back.

One week prior to Las Vegas, Busch became the first driver to win two NASCAR national touring races on the same day, taking the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series events at California.

In 2008, he set a NASCAR record for combined wins in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series with 21.

Kyle Busch has established himself as arguably the most talented driver in NASCAR today.
Busch is 23 years old, and has established himself as arguably the most talented driver in NASCAR today.

Last week, Formula One veterans Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson revealed plans to enter a U.S.-based F1 team with a pair of American drivers into competition as early as 2010.

Windsor and Anderson did not make any driver announcements for their USF1 team; however, IndyCar Series drivers Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti as well as NASCAR competitors Scott Speed, a former F1 standout, and Busch have been among those rumored as candidates for the future American ride.

Busch admitted he would consider F1 down the road but not in the meantime.

"It was never on my radar," Busch said. "Open-wheel stuff wasn't, but it's something that I wouldn't mind trying. I wouldn't mind trying IndyCars and running the Indianapolis 500 or Formula One. It's not quite the time for me to do that yet. I'd like to, if I could win a championship here in the next two or three years, then I wouldn't mind going over there and doing that, trying it for a few years and coming back."

With a trio of nicknames - "Rowdy Busch," "Shrub" and "Wild Thing" - Busch is as arrogant and cocky as they get in NASCAR, making him one of those drivers you either love or hate.

But the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has a tremendous amount of ambition, as he attempts to spoil Jimmie Johnson's bid for a record fourth consecutive Sprint Cup championship. Busch won eight races during the regular season last year before entering the "Chase for the Sprint Cup" as the top seed. His title hopes, however, quickly vanished after he experienced engine trouble in the first two races of the Chase.

Busch also will compete for the Nationwide title this year.

"I'm happy with where I'm at. And, obviously the focus here is to go for Nationwide and Cup wins and compete for championships - try to dismantle Jimmie off the top of the thrown, so we have to work on that. It's something that I'd love to give a shot at one day."

While former F1 competitors Juan Pablo Montoya and Speed have switched to stock car racing, and done so somewhat successfully, it would be a much greater challenge for a NASCAR driver to make the move to the most expensive and high-tech form of motorsports in the world.

The top F1 teams, such as McLaren and Ferrari, spend close to a half-billion dollars each year to stay competitive. Windsor and Anderson plan to spend around $65 million in their efforts next year.

Even though Busch won last year's Sprint Cup road-course races at Watkins Glen, NY and Sonoma, CA as well as the Nationwide event at Mexico City, the extraordinary street and road circuits on the current F1 schedule - such as Nurburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and Singapore - would be unlike any other course he's attempted. There are no ovals on the F1 calendar.

For now, Busch is content with his career in NASCAR. And stock car racing is where Busch should remain, as his popularity and success will continue to grow for many years to come.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Symeon at csymeon@sportsnetwork.com.

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