After coming up short in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix Raceway, Kyle Busch must win out this season to hit 100 wins and retire like he says he will.
Kyle Busch entered the 2020 NASCAR season with 96 career Xfinity Series victories and a five-race Xfinity Series schedule planned with Joe Gibbs Racing, given that NASCAR restricts Cup Series drivers with five or more seasons of full-time Cup Series experience from competing in more than five races at NASCAR’s second highest level.
The two-time Cup Series champion has, on multiple occasions, stated that he plans to retire from Xfinity Series competition once he becomes the first driver to hit 100 wins in the series; no other driver in series history even has 50.
As a result, he could afford to not win one of his five starts this season. He used up that one freebie in his first start of the year at Phoenix Raceway.
He entered Saturday afternoon’s 200-lap race around the four-turn, 1.022-mile (1.645-kilometer) oval in Avondale, Arizona with 11 victories in 23 starts at the track, including seven in his last nine starts.
But he came up short, finishing in third place behind teammates Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton in his #54 Toyota. He started from the pole position and led a race-high 78 laps, but he couldn’t secure win number 97.
This means that he must win each of his remaining four starts of the season to retire with 100 wins at the end of the season, backing his previous sarcastic claim that “NASCAR and the fans love him so much” that they keep further limiting the amount of races in which he can compete so that he can keep coming back year after year.
Here is what he had to say about the matter last November, according to Jayski.
“Yeah, I’ve said it over and over again. I would be there by now and I would have been out of it by now but apparently NASCAR and the fans love me there so much they keep make limitations on keeping me there. I’ve also said that I’ll get to 100 and then I don’t need to be there. That’s just kind of a number I would like to get to.”
Busch’s remaining four starts of the season are scheduled to take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 23, Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 20, New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 18 and Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 15.
He is eight for 25 (32%) at Charlotte Motor Speedway, four for 13 (30.77%) at Chicagoland Speedway, six for 12 (50%) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and one for 11 (9.09%) at Watkins Glen International.
So on paper, his chance to win all four races is only 0.45%. Additionally, as good as he has been throughout his Xfinity Series career with 96 victories in 353 starts, he hasn’t won four consecutive races since the 2008 season.
Will Kyle Busch win his remaining four races during the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season so he can retire once the season comes to an end, or will he be back in 2021 since “NASCAR and the fans love him so much”? As good as he is, going four for four will be tough.