Kyle Busch is set to make his fifth and final start of the 2022 NASCAR Truck Series season in this Saturday’s DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway.
Full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers with at least three years of experience are only allowed to compete in up to five Truck Series races and up to five Xfinity Series races each season.
Kyle Busch has been known to do just that, though he did stop competing in the Xfinity Series after last season, when he went five for five and reached the 100-win mark.
Because of his participation in these two series over the years, the stricter limitations on Cup Series drivers in the lower series has become known as the “Kyle Busch rule”.
Busch is set to make his fifth and final start of the 2022 Truck Series season in this Saturday’s DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway, driving the #51 Toyota for his Kyle Busch Motorsports team.
The 37-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native also competed in the races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, Martinsville Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But he did not win any of those four races, recording finishes of second, third, third, and seventh place, respectively, and if he doesn’t win on Saturday, this would make the 2022 season his first winless Truck Series season since 2012.
In 2012, he competed in just three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway, and he finished in second, fourth, and second place, respectively.
The 2022 season is already guaranteed to be his first season without multiple Truck Series victories since 2012. The all-time winningest Truck Series driver (61 wins) won between two and seven races every season from 2013 to 2021, totaling 31 victories.
The 2012 season is also Busch’s most recent season without any lower series wins, as he went winless in 22 Xfinity Series races as well. Because he stopped competing in the Xfinity Series after last season, anything less than a win on Saturday would make the 2022 season another winless season in the lower series.
From 2013 to 2021, Busch earned 51 Xfinity Series victories, giving him a total of 82 lower series victories since his last winless season. During that span, he also won 35 Cup Series races and two championships.
In his four Truck Series starts so far this season, Busch has only led 63 of 523 laps completed (12.0%). That gives him his lowest laps led total — and laps led percentage — in the Truck Series since he led no laps in just one start (200 laps) in 2004.
Even if he leads all 75 laps in Saturday’s race around the 12-turn, 1.99-mile (3.203-kilometer) road course in Sonoma, California, it would give him his lowest laps led total (138) since he led 120 laps in 2012, and it would give him his lowest laps led percentage (23.1%) since he led 320 of 1,523 laps completed (21.0%) in 11 starts in 2007.
To put this in perspective, he led 575 of 795 laps (72.3%) just three seasons ago, when he won all five of his Truck Series starts.
Busch has never competed in a Truck Series race at Sonoma Raceway, as the Truck Series hasn’t raced there since 1998. But in 16 Cup Series starts at the track, he has two wins (2008 and 2015) and four other top five finishes. Those other four top five finishes have come in the last four Cup Series races at the track.
One streak that isn’t at risk this weekend — or at all anymore in 2022 — is Busch’s Cup Series winning streak, which he extended to 18 seasons with a win in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Easter Sunday in April. That streak is tied with Richard Petty’s 18-year winning streak from 1960 to 1977 for the longest in Cup Series history.
The DoorDash 250 is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Sonoma Raceway beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, June 11. Be sure to begin a free trial of FuboTV if you have not yet done so!