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Kyle Busch’s 200 NASCAR wins are impressive … but let’s move on

Mar 18, 2019 Hit: 182 Written by 
Kyle Busch celebrates in victory lane Sunday after winning his 200th NASCAR race in the top 3 series combined..
Kyle Busch celebrates in victory lane Sunday after winning his 200th NASCAR race in the top 3 series combined.. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Let me get this out of the way early: Kyle Busch is one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers, both now and in the overall history of the sport. As the King himself said, Kyle could have competed for wins in any era of the sport. He’s a wheelman to the core, with great natural instincts on how to handle a racecar. He’s a first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame once he retires and becomes eligible.

 

His 200 wins are an impressive accomplishment and show he is a true talent, regardless of how you view him personally or what you think of his off-track antics.

 

But that’s where I stop. The endless adoration parade that’s likely to come this week is something I’ll sit out. And here’s why. Numbers do not lie.

 


 

Kyle Busch has 53 Cup wins. Richard Petty has 200. So why are we comparing the two in the first place? Just because Kyle made up this number as a target early in his career, that doesn’t mean it actually means what people are trying to make it mean.

 

It’s a ludicrous proposition, apples and oranges. If Kyle can get 147 more Cup wins in his career (or even approach David Pearson’s 105), then we can talk these type of comparisons. At his point, 14 years into his career, he’s only about halfway to Pearson.

 

Let’s look at how Kyle got to 200:

• 53 Cup wins is impressive, without a doubt. That number will continue to grow, likely reaching between 70 and 80 wins before Busch retires from Cup racing, making him one of the best Cup drivers ever.
• 94 Xfinity wins (most of which came after he was a Cup driver, and was bringing Cup-quality cars and pit crews down to the Xfinity level) is not overly impressive. He’s an established Cup vet racing against drivers trying to make their name in the sport. They don’t hold the same value as a Cup win.
• 53 Truck wins, all-time leader in the series. Again, he’s a Cup guy. See my thoughts on Xfinity.


To be fair, some of the wins Richard Petty had were not overly impressive. But even adjusting for some questionable Petty wins against weaker fields, he still blows Busch away in the stats on the Cup side. It’s also worth noting that no one else in history who was an all-time Cup wins leader thought to race in the lower series as much as Busch does. They recognized their efforts should be focused in the top level of the sport, not the minor leagues.

 

So let’s make a deal. Let’s all congratulate Kyle on this impressive run, but also agree to move on to the next topic and stop comparing his numbers to Petty.

 

Because there really is no comparison.


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Matt myftiu can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also find him on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

 

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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Website: www.autotechreviews.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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