Can Kyle Busch Make the Most of His Short-Track Consistency in the 2021 NASCAR Campaign?

January 23, 2021 11:31 pm

Few can match or surpass the wins tally that Kyle Busch possesses in NASCAR. When further filtered down to victories at short tracks, he certainly ranks highest, at least among all the actively involved drivers.

2020 did not prove to be a great year for Busch though, as he could only clinch a solitary win in Texas. But with a new season on the horizon, optimism to become faster and perform better bubbles over.

The Cup Series calendar contains 6 races at venues under a mile in track length. Will anybody outperform Busch in a segment that he has attained mastery in over the course of his storied career?

Kyle Busch secured his last win at a short-track back in 2019

Some statistics courtesy of the official NASCAR website state, “Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with 16 wins and 5,510 laps led at short tracks.

“Busch, who scored his last short-track win in the 2019 spring race at Bristol, had a solid season last year with two top fives, four top 10s, and 268 laps led in the five races.”

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – OCTOBER 28: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Zombie Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was absolutely phenomenal in his 2019 title-winning season. But despite coming close on a few occasions, he has not secured a short track win since the race at Bristol.

“Ben Beshore, Busch’s new crew chief for 2021, led Harrison Burton to four Xfinity Series wins last season, including Martinsville,” concluded the report.

2021 presents an opportunity for Busch to reinstate his dominance

With visits scheduled to Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond twice over the entire 36-races season, 2021 can prove to be golden once again for Busch. The 2-time Cup Series champion would want to put the disastrous campaign from last year behind and start afresh.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota, stands on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Busch would have serious challenges from the likes of Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, but his past experience could very well come in handy.

Besides, a winning mentality always spurs on the best of drivers to come out of rough phases and outdo themselves.

So while competition would be fiercer, Busch will head into the 2021 season knowing that he has what it takes to perform at these venues. Keeping all that we know about the 35-year-old from his previous exploits in mind, his performances at the short tracks might just be worth a watch.

Bhargav Gopal

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. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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