What Does Kyle Busch Need To Do To Make The Chase?


Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Rowdy Nation let out a huge sigh of relief when it was announced that Kyle Busch would be returning to the track this weekend in Charlotte. For Busch fans it has been a long three months as they have had to endure NASCAR with their favorite driver sitting on the sidelines. With the return of Busch also came the announcement from NASCAR that he would be eligible to make the chase. While Busch receiving a waiver to qualify for the chase is great news, the road to making the chase might be an uphill one.

In order for Busch to make the chase he is going to have to win and a race and be inside of the top-30 in points. This is assuming that he is unable to get himself high enough in the points to make it on points alone. While mathematically that is still possible, the odds of that are astronomical; so let’s just assume that a win and a spot in the top-30 is the only way he is going to be able to get in.

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Winning might be the easiest part of this equation for Busch. The No. 18 machine had good speed in the first 11 races with three different drivers behind the wheel, none with the talent of Busch. Getting into the top-30 in points could prove to be the more difficult task at hand for Busch and the No. 18 team in the coming weeks.

Currently Tony Stewart is 30th in points (Busch of course wants to be in that spot). Stewart has earned 179 points through 11 races. If Stewart remains at this pace over the next 15 races he will be at 420 points come time for the chase. Over the last five seasons the 30th-place driver in the standings has averaged right around 420 points earned after the 26th race of the season. For arguments sake, let’s assume that Busch needs to be just above that 420-point mark if he wants to be 30th in the standings.

For Busch to earn 420 points over the next 15 races he would need to average 28 points a race which equates to finishing in 15th place in every race. This of course does not factor in bonus points for laps led and such; anything along those lines would be a huge bonus for Busch and the No. 18 team. Busch is more than capable of running off 15 consecutive top-15 finishes but the issue comes if there is a hiccup. If Busch has a bad race and finishes 35th, his margin of error becomes even smaller moving forward.

That being said, there is no need to predict doom before it actually happens. As of right now Busch needs to top-15 his way through the next 15 races and that should be enough to get him into the top-30 in points. From there, a win would close the deal and he would make the chase despite missing the first 11 races of the 2015 season.

Do you think Busch will be able to pull it off?

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