Kyle Busch replaces brother

Updated: September 15, 2012, 2:10 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

JOLIET, Ill. -- Kyle Busch has added one Nationwide Series race to his 2012 schedule and may add a few more after missing the Chase in NASCAR's premier series.

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch

Busch was a late addition to Saturday's Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway. He replaced his brother, Kurt Busch, who was scheduled to run most of the final eight races in the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54.

Kyle's website lists him as the driver for the rest of the Nationwide schedule with the exception of next weekend at Kentucky.

"We're playing it by ear, seeing what Kurt wants to do, what [sponsor] Monster Energy wants to do,'' the 2009 Nationwide Series champion said of the remainder of the season.

Busch said "it sucks'' not being in the Chase. He hopes adding more Nationwide races will help his KBM program that has won only one race -- Kurt at Richmond in the spring -- this season.

Kyle's best finish in the 54 was second at Talladega in May. The series' all-time winner with 51 hasn't gone a season without a Nationwide victory since 2004.

Kyle said having the same driver come back to a track for a second time hopefully will help gauge where the organization is.

"We haven't been to too many places back to back yet with the same driver,'' said Kyle, who finished 27th after a crash at Chicagoland earlier this year. "Bristol is the only one I ran it, and ran in it again. It helps this program being able to do that.''

This will be Busch's 16th Nationwide start this year. His average finish in the first 15 was 14.5, well below his averages of 5.2, 5.0 and 6.4 the past three seasons when he won 30 times.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter