Motorsport News

Is the Kyle Busch Era Coming to a Close?

Nascar Cup Series

As long as most can remember, Kyle Busch has not just been a part of NASCAR, but consistently winning year in and year out. From his first win in 2005 at Auto Club Speedway in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to one of the most iconic racecars in the history of the sport, driving the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in M&Ms and Interstate Batteries liveries for almost two decades.

While he did win three races last season in his first year with Richard Childress Racing, 2024 has been quite a challenge. Busch has recently been involved in a wreck with Kyle Larson, a fist fight with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sr., and now a testing crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday (June 4).

Busch finds himself below the playoff cut line and winless as the series heads into the summer stretch. Is Kyle Busch’s 19-year win streak in danger of not reaching 20, or can KFB and RCR resurrect their respective legacies? This week Wyatt Watson and Chase Folsom gauge the future prospects for one of the impactful drivers of the 21st century.

Approaching the End of an Era

At this point last season, Kyle Busch had three victories to his credit with Richard Childress Racing that also included a commendable run in the Daytona 500 that by all means should have been a win; leading the race prior to the overtime restart, and there was genuine belief that KFB was indeed back. With switch of attitude from the fan base and three wins in 15 starts with the team, Busch looked primed to take the No. 8 team and fight for the title much like previous driver of the No. 8 Tyler Reddick did in 2022.

Despite Busch’s win streak and accumulation of playoff points, a crash at Texas Motor Speedway and a poor finish of 25th at Talladega Superspeedway in the second round of the playoffs killed Busch’s 2023 championship hopes, finishing 14th in points ultimately at the end of the season.

Additionally, in his final three years in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, Busch only collected four wins with points finishes of eighth, ninth and 13th respectively, failing to complete a deal to finish his career with the team he spent 15 years with.

Now in 2024, Busch has taken a major step back compared to his hot 2023 start. Busch has only acquired two top fives and five top 10s through 15 starts with an average finish of 17.2 (his second worst in his career behind his rookie 2005 average finish of 21). A year removed from his World Wide Technology Raceway…

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