Kyle Busch is poised to break the all-time NASCAR wins record in the 2019 season, but do his wins in lower series help improve his case as the sport’s greatest driver of all-time?
The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season is set to be Kyle Busch’s 15th season as a full-time driver in the series. He is set to enter it with 51 career Cup Series victories to his name, a total that puts him in 11th place on the all-time wins list. He trails all-time wins leader Richard Petty by 149 victories (200 to 51).
However, the 2015 Cup Series champion, who is still only 33 years old, has a good chance to break the all-time NASCAR wins record in the 2019 season.
This is the case due to the fact that his win total in the Cup Series is actually tied for his lowest win total in NASCAR’s top three series. He has earned 92 victories, an all-time record, in the Xfinity Series, and he has earned 51 victories, a total that is tied for the all-time record, in the Truck Series.
If the 33-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native wins six races across the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series in the 2019 season, he will tie Petty’s all-time record of 200 wins. With a seventh victory, he would break that record.
He is still only 33 years old.
Let’s be honest; it would be shocking if Petty’s record of 200 NASCAR victories still stands by the time the 2019 season comes to a close.
But should Busch’s victories in the Xfinity Series and the Truck Series be used when it comes to comparing him against other greatest drivers in NASCAR history?
The mere fact that there is actually a notion that exists that Busch would somehow become the greatest NASCAR driver of all-time or even close to it if and when he passes Petty’s all-time NASCAR wins record when he has earned an overwhelming majority of his victories in these two lower series is absurd.
In no other sport is the greatness of the athletes at the highest level determined by the success of these athletes at lower levels. Think about it.
How are NFL players judged when it comes to determining how good they are as football players? Are the judged by how they performed in college football, or are they judged by how they have performed in the NFL?
The obvious answer to this question is that they are judged by how they have performed in the NFL.
Of course, Xfinity Series and Truck Series racing is still professional racing whereas college football is not professional football. That much is true. That said, Double-A and Triple-A baseball are both professional baseball, and the same logic applies.
No one uses Double-A or Triple-A statistics to debate about who the best MLB player is, of all-time or even of a small group of MLB players.
You can’t call any athlete the greatest if he or she isn’t the best when competing against the best. There is no doubt that Busch’s Cup Series career thus far certainly has him in the discussion as one of the top 15 or maybe even top 10 drivers of all-time, and he certainly can work his way into the discussion as one of the top five or maybe even the top driver of all-time. He certainly isn’t a bad driver by any stretch of the imagination.
But for now, he has a lot of work to do if he wants to put himself in the discussion to be considered the greatest NASCAR driver of all-time. 0% of that work is in the Xfinity Series and 0% of that work is in the Truck Series. 100% of that work is in the Cup Series, where he can perform at his best when competing against the best.
Want your voice heard? Join the Beyond The Flag team!
Write for us!
How will Kyle Busch’s numerous victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Truck Series be viewed in the long run when it comes to making his case as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport? Will he be judged solely on his success as a Cup Series driver and the success he will have had in the Cup series?