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Kyle Busch is Having One of His Worst Seasons Ever

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What’s Happening?

When Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fought at North Wilkesboro, one statement from Kyle Busch rang louder than any other both literally and figuratively, “I suck just as bad as you!” Kyle Busch knows it, the stats show it, and the fans notice it. He’s not the driver he once was; this is not just a 2024 trend.

  • Kyle Busch is a two-time Cup Series Champion and the winningest driver on the circuit today (63 wins). He was previously one of the most polarizing drivers in NASCAR, but fans have grown to appreciate him more as time goes on.
  • Unfortunately, the 2020s have not been kind to Busch. After winning the Championship in 2019, he’s failed to make the Championship 4, only making the Round of 8 once in 2021.
  • Fans are generally bummed out by how Busch has performed. He’s slowly garnered a better reputation with the fans, but, that’s not translated into good results.

Statistical Comparison

For most of his early career, Kyle Busch couldn’t quite put it all together. While everyone knew how talented he was, a combination of bad luck and immaturity kept him from being a true Championship contender. That changed in 2015 when he won his first Cup Series Championship, setting off a 5 season run for the ages.

Below are Kyle Busch’s cumulative stats from 2015 through 2019.

RacesWinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedFinal 4 AppearancesChampionships

Kyle Busch finished in the top five in nearly half of his Cup Series races during this span, and he finished in the top ten 64% of the time. He also made it to the Championship 4 in all of these seasons. He was unquestionably one of if not the best, NASCAR driver during this time.

However, things changed in 2020. Kyle Busch did not win his first race until the Round of 8 in the Playoffs and failed to make it out of the Round of 12.

The statistics below show that this was far more than a one-year setback. He hasn’t made a Championship-4 appearance since 2019.

RacesWinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedFinal 4 AppearancesChampionships

For some perspective, Kyle Busch eclipsed the 7 wins and 1,833 laps led at some point during his peak. He recorded 8 wins in 2018 and led 2,023 laps in 2017. This is across 5 seasons where Busch raced for both Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing.

The stats say it is not just an equipment problem. When he joined RCR in 2023, he had the worst points finish of his career since his rookie season, but he also had more wins, more top 5s, and a better average finish than in his final year at JGR.

2024 has seen Busch continue to decline.

A Look at 2024

Kyle Busch’s decline in 2024 dates back to the end of 2023. He won three of the first fifteen races that season but hasn’t won since. He was also knocked out of the Playoffs in the round of 12.

Fast forward to 2024. Busch was third in the 3-wide finish at Atlanta, but, he hasn’t come close to winning aside from that. This is where the fight with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. happened, where Busch shouted, “I suck just as bad as you!”

Here is how Kyle Busch’s 2024 season breaks down so far only 14 races in.

WinsTop 5sTop 10sAvg. FinishLaps LedPoints Position

If this keeps up, Busch is on pace to have a career-low in top fives and tie his career-low in top tens. His 14th-place points position would tie last season for his worst since his rookie season. His average finish would be the third worst of his career.

Kyle Busch is 39 years old, so he’s been around the sport for a long time. However, whether it’s equipment, age, or something else, he’s not the same driver he once was.

However, he has performed well this season when given good equipment in the lower series. He won 3 Truck Series races and contended for the win in the Xfinity Series at Charlotte. He’s also still in Cup Series Playoff position, at least for now.

Can Kyle Busch stage a furious comeback? Time will tell.

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