NASCAR: Kyle Busch only needed two races to pass Richard Petty

Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Two races into the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Busch, with a new team, has broken Richard Petty’s record for most consecutive winning seasons.

With primary sponsor M&M’s leaving NASCAR after the 2022 Cup Series season, longtime M&M’s Kyle Busch himself ultimately needed to find a new ride for 2023.

The 37-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native left Joe Gibbs Racing following a 15-year run behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota and reunited with Chevrolet, signing a multi-year deal with Richard Childress Racing to drive the No. 8 car.

Busch entered the 2023 season having won at least one race in each of the last 18 seasons, a mark that matched Richard Petty’s all-time record from 1960 to 1977.

There were some questions as to whether or not Kyle Busch would be able to break that record during the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Over the last several years, Joe Gibbs Racing have been a better team than Richard Childress Racing, and Busch’s stint at Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t exactly come to an end with him performing at his best.

His only win in 2022 came when the two leaders collided on the final lap of the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch led only the final lap and matched Petty’s record because of it.

Many described Busch’s move to Richard Childress Racing as a backwards move, one that he would regret making after going on to “waste” the final few years of his career in a car not capable of consistently running at the front and competing for championships.

But others viewed the change of scenery as the pathway for a career revival, and while it’s still early, that appears to be the more accurate of the two predictions.

Two races into his stint behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet, Kyle Busch has already broken Richard Petty’s record.

Busch, who actually led lap 200 of what was scheduled to be a 200-lap Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway two Sundays ago, found victory lane just one week later at Auto Club Speedway, overcoming an early pit road speeding penalty to win for his third different team.

Busch won in each of his three seasons as a full-time driver for Hendrick Motorsports to begin his career from 2005 to 2007 before going on to have a successful15-year run at Joe Gibbs Racing, one which netted 56 wins and two championships.

He now owns at least one victory in 19 consecutive seasons, something that nobody had ever done before him.

His 61 career victories rank ninth on the all-time wins list, as he broke a tie with former Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick on Sunday. Next up? Richard Childress Racing — and NASCAR — legend Dale Earnhardt, the seven-time champion who won 76 races before his fatal crash in February 2001.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

Of course, the seven-time champion Petty still owns the overall wins record, which is one many view as unbreakable. His 200-win mark is 95 wins clear of second place David Pearson at 105.