Kyle Busch’s Attitude Has Not Hindered His Results

Jun 18, 2017; Brooklyn, MI, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2017; Brooklyn, MI, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Kyle Busch has been in the NASCAR Cup Series news a lot this season for his bad attitude, but not for winning. Yet he is still among the top championship contenders.

It had not been since 2006 that Kyle Busch started off a NASCAR Cup Series season with 15 straight races that did not result in a victory. After this past Sunday’s race at Michigan, however, that’s exactly what has happened this season. In fact, his winless streak that began after he won the Brickyard 400 last season is now up to 31 races.

But despite making headlines this season for pretty much negative reasons only, Kyle Busch has “silently”, if you want to call it that, made his case as a legitimate championship contender.

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Busch has been in the news for talking about how terrible his Goodyear tires after his Daytona 500 crash and for starting a brawl with Joey Logano and his pit crew after a crash at Las Vegas. He has been in the news for writing off Talladega as not a “real” race track after he blew a late lead there as well as for calling a 5th place finish at Kansas a “mediocre” day despite talking about how Kansas, unlike Talladega, is a real race track. He has also been in the news for his obnoxious interview after Austin Dillon won the Coca-Cola 600 on fuel mileage, which you can watch below.

What he hasn’t been in the news for yet this season is winning. In fact, he along with his three Joe Gibbs Racing teammates have a combined zero victories through 15 races so far this season. But for a driver who has been in the news for so many negative things this season without winning, Kyle Busch has had more than an impressive season. As a driver who would not have won a championship had it not been for the playoffs, he is out to prove a point and make a major statement this season.

Kyle Busch’s 2017 season has been anything but silent off the track. But on the track, it has been rather quiet in a way, seeing as how 10 different drivers have won at least one race so far this season and he is not one of them.

Ultimately, however, that hasn’t mattered, since he has been a silent but deadly killer in 2017 even without winning a race. Why? Because he is the highest driver in the championship standings without a win yet. Since there are 10 drivers with at least one win so far this season, a casual fan may not think anything of that since it means he could possibly be down as low as 11th.

But he’s not 11th; in fact, he’s all the way up in 3rd place behind only Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr., two two-race winners in 2017. Busch actually leads a pack of three drivers in the top 5 in the standings who also have yet to win a race in 2017.

Busch has blown late leads in a number of races, and he’s complained about a number of things that he thinks have prevented him from winning a number of races. But one thing that has not been stopped by anything so far this season for Kyle Busch is his great finishes. Even without a win this season, Busch has put himself in a great position to contend for a championship and drive a full 36-race season en route to a title instead of only 25 races like he did in 2015 after being sidelined due to injuries he sustained in a wreck at Daytona.

Next: Like It Or Not, Kyle Busch Is Winning

Do you think Kyle Busch is a legitimate championship contender this season despite not having won a single race yet? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram as well as Beyond the Flag on both Instagram and Twitter. Finally, don’t forget to follow along with Beyond the Flag for the latest news, opinions and analysis stemming from a number of different motorsports series. You don’t want to miss any of it.