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Kyle Busch is happiest when racing

They tried it the other way. They sat down with him and the sponsors and everyone else with a say in the matter before the 2012 season and agreed to back off. They did what Kyle Busch would regard as sacrilegious. They asked him to race less.

Johnson slumped spectacularly last season

Jimmie Johnson won four Sprint Cup races last year. He led 1,310 laps, a number exceeded only by champion Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski. He posted 11 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s. For most drivers, that’s a spectacular season. In the Hendrick Motorsports race shop that houses the No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, that’s a slump.

Dale Jr. all smiles

Ever notice that NASCAR takes on a higher profile and appears more successful when Dale Earnhardt Jr. is smiling That bodes well for the 2015 Sprint Cup season.