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The NASCAR world awaits that Busch-vs-Busch showdown: it's looming, at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix

   Steve 'the brain trust' Addington (R) may be the only man Kyle Busch listens to, but they've had magic together (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   So, can Kyle Busch make it two-in-a-row?
   Not likely here in Sunday afternoon's Martinsville 500 – he's probably too aggressive a driver to handle this finesse track.
   Remember all those blown right-fronts last year?
   "It's just so finicky," Busch says of Clay Campbell's flat half-mile in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. "And it's so hard here because everybody runs so damn tight, that any little thing you can find, then you're golden."
   Kyle Busch starts fourth Sunday, right behind brother Kurt.
   And the Busch Bros have been tough lately, so either one could make it four-straight for the family at Martinsville Speedway. Kyle won Las Vegas, Kurt followed by winning Atlanta, and Kyle came back last week to win at Bristol.
   When was the last time NASCAR brothers won four in a row?
   "If I had Jeff Gordon's or Jimmie Johnson's success here, then I would be comfortable," Kyle Busch says. "But I don't have any success here yet.  I've got maybe two top-fives.
    "So I don't feel comfortable. I'm not very good here yet. 
    "I've had some decent runs, where I felt we had a car to win, and a shot to win. That was in the old car (when running for Rick Hendrick and Alan Gustafson).  Unfortunately we weren't able to get track position towards the end of the race. 
    "Jeff is so good here, and Jimmie is so good here…those are the two hardest guys to pass, because they know this place. They know how to get off the corner. They know how to roll the middle of the corner.
    "Everything is timing. And their stuff just works.
   "We've got some work trying to figure it out. 
   "I do feel more comfortable here this time than last year."
   What is baffling for Kyle Busch is that teammate Denny Hamlin, who won this race a year ago but has been winless since, has a great feel for this layout.
    "For some reason, Denny runs well here, and I'm not sure why I can't get my stuff to run well too, because we have the same stuff," Kyle Busch says. "It's been bothering me."
    Of course for all their success, the Busches have made their share of enemies too. They've both been rather abrasive at times, perhaps a hard edge from their Las Vegas background. 
   However both men have matured markedly in the past year and half, the boos have dimmed, and both are going the extra mile for the fans.
   What would really be great to watch would be a Busch-vs-Busch showdown somewhere this season. I'd say Texas could be the place…or more likely Phoenix.
   Curiously Kurt Busch won the 2004 title, suddenly decided to split from Jack Roush and jump to Roger Penske, and he's been stone cold since. Until this year. Clearly something has changed over at Penske's, and Busch and crew chief Pat Tryson have become men to watch. Next weekend at Texas, for sure, if not here this weekend, where Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are expected to battle it out.
   Kevin Harvick has had a few run-ins with the Busches over the years.  "Maybe a lot of people don't really see eye-to- eye with what they say or what they do, but you can't argue with the fact that they are very successful on the track…and I think it can continue," Harvick says.
   "I think Kyle gets a little more savvy off the track every week.
    "You can't do anything but respect them because they're so good on the track.
   "Off the track – and I'm talking about Kyle here - that comes in time: as you get older, and as you get in more situations, you become more comfortable with what you do and say off the track…and smarter about what you say off the track.
   "However as long as he keeps having results on the track, it isn't going to matter."
   The sweet taste of victory...a real, solid, kickass victory. Now what kind of fireworks to expect if Kurt Busch faces off against his little brother Kyle? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

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