Can Kyle Busch Get Rid of This Unwanted Stat at the 2021 NASCAR Daytona 500?

Published 02/14/2021, 8:10 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 09: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Generally, one would imagine that a frequent Cup Series race-winner, or indeed a championship title holder, would have at least a single Daytona 500 crown to their name. But that is not necessarily true in the case of one of NASCAR’s active, all-time most accomplished drivers, Kyle Busch.

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Over the years, a mixture of bad luck and errors has culminated in him losing out on entering Daytona’s Victory Lane. For one reason or the other, it just has not worked out for the two-time Cup Series champion in the season opener.

So, as the new season hits a reset button on numbers and trivia of all sorts, the question still remains – can the ‘Candy Man’ break the jinx to lift his first-ever Daytona 500 title in 2021?

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Kyle Busch led the pack in the 2020 Daytona 500 before an engine failure issue

The stat that persists is as follows: Kyle Busch now has the most number of Cup Series race wins (57) without a victory at the Daytona 500. Interestingly, that remains the only racing accolade he is left to conquer in the top division of stock car racing.

This is not to say he has never claimed the lead in the ‘Great American Race’ or tried to pass his rivals out in front. In fact, in the 2020 edition, Busch was leading the pack, right until the point he suffered an engine failure close to Lap 185.

 

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These are minute aspects that need to go in a driver’s favor if they are to win a prestigious trophy such as the Daytona 500. However, there have been a few indicators that it could happen for Busch this Sunday.

‘Rowdy’ took home the 2021 Busch Clash after being in the right place at the right time

The exhibition event midweek in the build-up to the Daytona 500 provided great excitement and a first look at the 2021 batch of cars. Busch on the night was particularly fast, and even scraped through to seal a win after Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney collided on the final lap.

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BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 22: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, walks through the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

In addition to the motivation he gained from that race, Busch will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2020 season. Securing just one win in an entire Cup Series season is not something NASCAR fans have known the Joe Gibbs Racing driver for.

Therefore, all these factors make for an intriguing storyline ahead of the race. Who knows, maybe this is indeed the year when Busch storms through the final stretch to collect his maiden Daytona 500.

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MORE – ‘Just Hasn’t Materialized’ – Kyle Busch Reflects on Past ‘Heartbreaks’ in NASCAR Daytona 500

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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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