NASCAR playoff drivers who won’t be back: No. 4 – Kyle Busch
Having not been on the “Kyle Busch is washed” bandwagon heading into the 2023 season when he joined what many believed was an inferior team to Joe Gibbs Racing in Richard Childress Racing, it’s hard for me to list him here following a three-win campaign.
But considering the fact that all three of those wins came in the first half of the season and the latter half of the year was a disaster for Busch and the team as a whole, he could very well be next year’s surprise when it comes to failing to qualify for the postseason.
The No. 8 team showed speed from time to time, but their consistency from the first half of the season was gone once the summer stretch really started to heat up, and that didn’t change. Let’s not forget that the sportsbooks had Busch as the betting favorite to win a third championship after he won the second race of the season at Auto Club Speedway.
Despite managing to advance from the round of 16 to the round of 12 for the first time since 2021, he ended up finishing the season in 14th place in the standings, his worst mark since his rookie 2005 season with Hendrick Motorsports — and that was with three wins.
His average points finish over the last four seasons is now 11th place, and that run doesn’t consist of a single Championship 4 appearance. Have we seen the last of peak Kyle Busch, and could that mean the end of an 11-year playoff run?