Kyle Busch wouldn't have a prayer if real life was a popularity contest like the X-Factor. He is undoubtedly the most despised driver in the eyes of NASCAR fans, yet he's also the genre's pound-for-pound quickest racer. As the Americans like to say when faced with a paradox, go figure.
He didn't win any of this year's major league stock car titles (at one point, however, he led all three, which was a first) but his amazing 21 wins across the three categories - Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Trucks - puts him in a league of his own.
Yet while his on-track pedigree is immense for a 23-year-old, it flies in the face of his reputation with the paying public. For a start, he's from the wrong side of the country (the west - Las Vegas to be precise) for most southern diehards' tastes. He's guilty by association too, because elder brother Kurt - Cup champion in 2004 - has also suffered at the hands of boo-boys, mainly due to an altercation with Jimmy 'Mr Excitement' Spencer that resulted in Spencer being banned for punching Kurt in the face.