Just once in the past 10 seasons has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway gone on to be that season's points champion. Kyle Busch, however, finds himself in good position to use his AdvoCare 500 win as a springboard to his first Cup title.
Through the first two races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Busch is in second place in the points standings on the strength of a pair of second-place finishes to begin the 10-race playoff format. The only driver to outperform Busch during that span has been teammate Matt Kenseth, winner of the past two races.
This is uncharted territory for Busch, winner of 28 races at the Sprint Cup level. He has proven, on multiple occasions an ability to win races. Being able to put together consistent finishes during the final ten races, on the other hand, has proved problematic. The start of the Chase has been especially tumultuous for Busch in the past, and it has usually ended his Chase hopes quickly as a result of various factors.
It is a different story this season. Prior to this year, Busch had never finished as high as second place in the first two races of the Chase as a driver who qualified for that season's 10-race playoff.
Busch may or may not win the championship in 2013. But a strong start to the Chase, fueled by momentum from his victory at the AdvoCare 500, has him placed as a top contender for the title.