Kurt Busch needs to make noise to advance beyond Round of 12
A handful of narratives have stood out in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup as we head to Round 2 on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500.
There's the dominance of Martin Truex Jr. and the four Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas all advancing to the Round of 12.
Kevin Harvick continues to be a threat in the elimination format as he looks for his second Sprint Cup title in three years.
Jimmie Johnson brings his chase for a seventh Sprint Cup championship, which would put him in elite company with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.
Team Penske consistently finish near the front of the pack with Brad Keselowski being the most consistent driver in 2016.
And, then we have the two first-timers -- Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon -- who advanced to the Round 2 after strong performances at Dover.
That's everyone, right?
Not quite. Kurt Busch has quietly advanced to the Round of 12 in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
He didn't make any splashes in Round 1, putting up top-15 finishes in all three races with a fifth-place performance at New Hampshire being his best.
Busch has to make some noise and contend for victories in Round 2 because there aren't enough drivers who are going to make mistakes to let him sneak through to the Round of 8, if he doesn't.
"We are not here just to advance through a round, we are here to do well and be a force towards the front," Busch said. "I like Charlotte and I like Kansas, so we will see how they play out. We need to gain points there because you can't go to Talladega expecting a good finish."
While Busch likes racing at Charlotte and Kansas, he has only posted one win at Charlotte in 2010 and never won at Kansas.
He'll need to find some of the speed that his teammate in the No. 4 has to get through to the Round of 8, especially if there are three different winners this round, leaving only five spots based on points.