Kurt Busch’s Kansas Win Equals NASCAR Record Set Before Hendrick Motorsports Legend Jimmie Johnson Won His First Championship

Published 05/18/2022, 10:55 AM EDT
May 15, 2022; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (45) celebrates on victory lane after winning the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

At the Kansas Speedway, there were unexpected scenes as Kurt Busch roared to victory. With this, the 43-year-old veteran rolled back the years and proved that he still has what it takes. To make matters even better, he booked his berth in the 2022 Cup Series Playoffs. Additionally, he is officially the 11th different race winner this season, making it the second time this has happened.

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The last time something of this caliber took place was in the 2003 campaign. That was when Matt Kenseth won the Cup Series title and 11 drivers won in the first 13 races. The streak started with Michael Waltrip winning the Daytona 500, with Dale Jarrett and Matt Kenseth taking the next two.

At the following race in Atlanta, Bobby Labonte snatched victory, and Ricky Craven took the next one at Darlington.

Kurt Busch also took a win during that 2003 Cup season

Incidentally, Craven edged out Busch by 0.002 seconds at Darlington, in the closest ever finish. Busch would then go on to win the next race, at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Other winners were Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Joe Nemechek, and Jimmie Johnson.

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Admittedly, Busch and Johnson both notched up a second win each, at the Auto Club 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, respectively.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 16: Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, sog during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Now, with this 2022 Cup victory, his tally is up to 34 Cup triumphs and he is in the Playoffs. Of course, the 43-year-old has an outside chance of winning the title. However, his and teammate Bubba Wallace’s performances prove that the car is capable of winning.

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All that Wallace needs to do is continue putting in good runs like these and hope that things go right for him. It will be the only way he will be able to shut up his critics who still give him lip for his ‘lucky’ Talladega win.

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Dhruv George

13091 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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