You can now say it without hesitation. Kyle Busch is an all-time great. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was in a class of his own last Sunday afternoon under the sunny skies of Southern California’s Auto Club Speedway, where he cruised to his second consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and reached the historic 200-win plateau in NASCAR competition. Fittingly enough, the No. 18 Camry was adorned in bright green, where a little bit of luck helped Busch get to Victory Lane on St. Patrick’s Day in the Auto Club 400.
To put it in perspective, only one driver in the history of NASCAR had reached such a milestone prior to Busch’s triumph. You may have heard of him – “The King” Richard Petty. While Petty’s mark will stand forever, given all 200 of his wins came in what we now know as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Busch’s accomplishment cannot be understated. He’s the owner of the all-time wins record in NASCAR’s other two national series – Truck (53 wins) and Xfinity (94 wins) – and continues to add to those record totals, and with his latest checkered flag on Sunday he’s now amassed 53 wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It’s hands down the most dynamic collection of wins in the history of the sport, and definitive proof of Busch’s exceptional talent, which many will argue is the highest we’ve ever seen.
While stock car racing as a whole is similar in nature, there are dramatic differences across its three national series. No one vehicle is like the other, but Busch has become a master of them all. A decade ago, fresh off his 50th career NASCAR victory, Busch suggested that he’d love to reach the 200-win milestone. A decade later, he’s done exactly that, and he’s still just 33 years old. It’s well within the realm of possibility that Busch continues to drive for another 10 years, and possibly well beyond that, and there’s no reason to think he won’t stop his winning ways. Does that mean we could see the first 300-race winner in history? Perhaps, but one thing that is abundantly clear is that Busch is going to be the winningest driver in the history of the sport.
As the most controversial driver in NASCAR, who fans simply love to hate, the brash Busch takes it all in stride and continues to rewrite the history books. His victory in Fontana made him the first multiple-race winner of 2019, and he did so by sweeping all three stages. The luck he needed to win came in the form of a late caution, after Busch and his team were forced to stay out late on pit sequence in order to make up for another speeding penalty on pit road. Just two weeks ago Busch let what could have been a shot at victory in Las Vegas slip away due to the exact same infraction, but this time the gamble paid off and reclaimed the track position lost.
Busch dropped as far back as fourth on the race’s final restart, but the long-run prowess of the No. 18 carried him back to the front and past race leader Joey Logano with 26 laps to go. That was all she wrote. Busch carried on to take the checkered flag by 2.3 seconds.
“[Win 200] feels just like number one. Feels just like yesterday. Man, that was such an awesome race car. I mean, dang! This Interstate Batteries Camry was awesome today. I’m glad we put on a heck of a show for all these fans out here in California at Auto Club Speedway.
“It takes green to get in Victory Lane today. Today is St. Patty’s day. All these other guys were at a disadvantage. The Interstate Batteries Green Machine was flying today. Just awesome. To win 200, I mean, whatever it means, it means a lot to me. It means a lot to all my guys, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. You guys are all the best. It’s an amazing opportunity to drive for Joe Gibbs. I cherish every minute of it, [and] love it always. Just wish that we could keep it going, keep it going like this, running strong, running well, and winning these races.”