NASCAR: Kyle Busch is still three wins away from retirement

Kyle Busch is still sitting at 97 career NASCAR Xfinity Series victories, not 98, after his win-stripping disqualification at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch returned to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the first time in 54 days behind the wheel of the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Texas Motor Speedway, and he did exactly what he did 54 days ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway: drive to victory lane.

Busch had to overcome a speeding penalty and led just 15 laps of the 201-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Fort Worth, Texas, including the final 10, en route to getting his 10th career Xfinity Series victory at the track, but that was all it took to make his career win total twice as large as that of second place Mark Martin.

The 35-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native, who started Saturday afternoon’s race all the way back in 28th place, secured his 98th victory NASCAR’s second highest level of competition, moving him to within two wins of retirement.

Or so he thought.

Busch ended up being stripped of this victory, as his #54 Toyota failed post-race inspection. As a result, his win total has dropped back down to 97.

Busch has stated multiple times that he plans to retire from Xfinity Series competition once he records his 100th victory, meaning he remains three wins away from hitting that goal, and with just one of his five scheduled starts remaining this season.

“Yeah, I’ve said it over and over again,” he said last season. “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 cannot get to 100 wins this season. He is only allowed to make five starts per season thanks to NASCAR’s new restrictions on full-time Cup Series drivers with at least five seasons of Cup Series experience.

He very well could have, however, as he finished in third place at Phoenix Raceway in March after being passed late by teammates Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton, and he finished in second in a classic finish at Darlington Raceway in May behind Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe. Then, of course, he won at Texas Motor Speedway, before he didn’t.

In 2017, the Xfinity Series limit on full-time Cup Series drivers with at least five seasons of Cup Series experience was 10 races. It was reduced to seven for 2018 and 2019 before it was reduced to five this year.

However, even after he hits 100 Xfinity Series wins, he may not be done in the series. He hasn’t ruled out returning if team owner Joe Gibbs needs him to fill in as a replacement driver.