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Busch was a two-time winner this season and opened the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship confident he could be the one to dethrone five-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson _ his nemesis. Although he beat Johnson at Dover in the third Chase race, he faded as rumors spread Addington was bolting.

Busch wrecked at Talladega, ran out of gas while leading at Phoenix and had the transmission problem at Homestead. He ended the season 11th in the final standings. Kyle Busch, who opened the Chase tied for the top seed, finished 12th. Neither Busch brother will be part of the formal ceremony at next week’s banquet in Las Vegas _ their hometown.

It’s not clear what action, if any, team owner Roger Penske will take against Kurt Busch. He’s remained largely silent when Busch has acted out in the past, but the emergence of teammate Brad Keselowski has given Penske reason not to tolerate Busch’s behavior any longer.

Keselowski, in his second Cup season, won three races this season and finished fifth in the final standings. He’s also become a fan favorite for his outspokenness _ candor that proved last week can get him in trouble: Keselowski was fined $25,000 by NASCAR for comments critical of electronic fuel injection.