Can Kyle Busch Equal Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR Record at Phoenix With a Win on Sunday?

Published 03/13/2021, 12:00 PM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 06: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, walks on pit road during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)


The NASCAR Cup Series action moves to Phoenix this weekend, and once again a race win trophy is up for grabs for all competing drivers. Certainly, one driver who would have his eyes on the prize will be Kyle Busch, considering there is a chance to mark a new milestone.

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Having accumulated three wins with Joe Gibbs Racing, ‘Rowdy’ currently sits 3rd in the all-time Cup race victories at this Sunday’s location. Jimmie Johnson occupies the position above him, and so a win for Busch means he moves up to 2nd behind Kevin Harvick.

There is definitely no argument that Busch is one of NASCAR’s finest and rightly finds himself in contention to breaking more records. So with a golden chance this weekend, can the Joe Gibbs Racing No.18 go ahead of Johnson in the tally?

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Kyle Busch has started the 2021 season in an inconsistent manner

It is fair to say that after a disappointing 2020 campaign, the two-time Cup champion wanted to start strongly. But after four rounds thus far, the No.18 team is yet to fully hit the ground running in terms of its true potential.

Busch had stated after last Sunday’s race, “I don’t know where we missed it so far from the simulator, but that’s two weeks in a row where we’re not apples to apples. … Ready to keep working on it and keep improving.”

“We were just a little off on pace, overall pace, overall lap time from the fast guys,” he had concluded.

This Sunday represents the best chance for him to get his first win this campaign

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Despite the sluggish opening, what would encourage Busch is his own record at the one-mile speedway. Such has been his brilliance, that he has secured eight Top-5 finishes in his last ten races at this racetrack.

Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) races during the Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This also includes two stunning race wins, with the second one particularly helping him land the Cup Series title in 2019. Hence, with little signs of progress in Las Vegas last weekend and a solid history at Phoenix, one would certainly tip Busch to stay in the running for the win.

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MORE – THROWBACK: Kevin Harvick Stuns Jeff Gordon in One of the Most Thrilling Finishes in NASCAR

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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