If Kyle Busch finds victory lane at any point throughout the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, he will join elite company in the sport’s history books.
Coming off his second career NASCAR Cup Series championship in the 2019 season, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch has his sights set on more in what is slated to be his 16th full season of Cup Series competition in 2020.
That “more” is obviously another championship at the very least. A third title would move him into a fifth place tie on the all-time list with Lee Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Tony Stewart, behind only seven-time champions Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson and four-time champion Jeff Gordon.
But even if the 34-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native accomplishes only a small fraction of what he is setting out to accomplish in the 2020 season, he will still join elite company.
One victory at any point throughout the 36-race 2020 season would give Busch at least one trip to victory lane in 16 consecutive seasons, something that has only been done once in the last four decades and three times in NASCAR history.
Johnson is the most recent driver to pull it off, winning at least one race — two actually — each year from his first full-time season in 2002 to 2017 before his streak ended with a winless 2018 campaign.
Before Johnson, it hadn’t happened since 1980.
Richard Petty won at least two races in a record 18 consecutive years from 1960 to 1977 before a winless 1978 season, and amid his streak, Pearson went on his own run of 17 consecutive seasons with at least one victory from 1964 to 1980.
Busch’s streak goes back to the 2005 season, his first season as a full-time Cup Series driver in what was his first of three seasons at Hendrick Motorsports before he switched to Joe Gibbs Racing. Each of his 56 career victories, a total that places him ninth on the all-time wins list, has been earned during this 15-year span.
In four of his 15 full-time seasons, Busch managed to only win one race, so his streak has not come without its trials and tribulations. With that being said, he hasn’t won fewer than four races in a year since the 2014 season when he won just one, and he has since won a series-high two championships and a series-high 27 races since then.
It shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for him to run his streak up to 16 straight winning seasons this year.
Will Kyle Busch find victory lane at least once in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season to tie Jimmie Johnson behind only Richard Petty and David Pearson, the two winningest drivers in Cup Series history, for the third longest winning streak in the sport’s history?