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

Published 02/06/2021, 9:30 AM EST
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)


The Daytona 500 has been one of the unluckiest events for one of the most accomplished NASCAR drivers. That is exactly the kind of narrative which will motivate Kyle Busch ahead of the 63rd edition of the event.

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In a career that has spanned 16 seasons, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has not had the pleasure of lifting the ‘Great American Race’ crown even once. Speaking in an interview, he talks about why that has been the case thus far.

Busch said, “I don’t know, I’ve been, I think in the right positions at the right place a few times. But it just hasn’t quite worked out, you know.”

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Kyle Busch had a good chance of winning the Daytona 500 in the 2020 season

“I was running second with my teammate Matt Kenseth back in I think 20…I don’t know when it was. And Denny made a move to the outside, he got himself to the outside, I thought about jumping out in front of him and I didn’t. That cost me a win.”

The 2020 edition in particular would have hurt, considering Busch had gotten into a great position with just about 15 laps to go. But in the end, his teammate Denny Hamlin took the win home in overtime, after an engine issue forced the No.18 to quit from the race.

TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 25: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Halloween Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

“Last year, we were leading with 15 laps to go. Back in 2008, Tony Stewart should have won the thing, being teammates with one another, or I should have won it. And we threw it away and gave it to the Penske guys.”

Busch has a best finish of second in the NASCAR Cup Series’ campaign opener

“I mean, I can keep going on about all the heartbreaks you know. It just hasn’t happened, it just hasn’t materialized yet,” concluded Busch.

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 09: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota, talks with crew chief Adam Stevens during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Although it is not a pretty record to look at for Busch, there is room for optimism. Using all his experience coupled with renewed machinery, there is a good chance he finally cracks the code in the 2021 season opener.

Therefore, NASCAR fans will keep an eye on how Busch fares in the event this time around. For sure, more than anybody else, it would be running in the back of his mind to make an effort and add the Daytona 500 title to his extensive trophy cabinet.

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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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