Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch had one of his most forgettable years in NASCAR in 2020. But even such seasons teach a driver a lot and Busch learned a lot during that challenging phase, something he aims to implement in the 2021 season.
Despite being the defending champion, Busch could not manage a single win all season, until the second but last playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch did learn a lot from a tough year and recently opened up on some of his biggest lessons from a challenging year. He admitted that their mindset for the most part of the season did not help the team’s cause.
“I think some of the biggest lessons learned last year is just everything of what not to do. There were a lot of things that we did with a mindset and philosophy that just wasn’t right,” Busch said during an interview.
The 35-year-old explained his thought process during that weekend in Texas, which was also pushed ahead due to weather conditions. The key, Busch expressed, was to think differently and ‘outside the box’. To the team’s sheer delight, the new plan worked out perfectly.
“It was kind of like ‘OK, we need to think about this a little differently. Think about what we were building cars like, thinking about our setups a little bit different.’ That whole weekend, I was like, ‘We have to just throw something at it. We have to try outside-the-box thinking.’ And, lo and behold, it kind of worked out,” Busch said further.
He hopes to implement much more of that mindset and thought process in the new season with a new crew chief and many changes to the unit.
“Fortunately, we won that one and now we can go into this season with a little bit more of that type of mindset,” he added.
Busch reunites with Ben Beshore, who worked with the no. 18 Cup team as an engineer. Additionally, Beshore was Busch’s crew chief for seven Xfinity Series races in 2019, and the duo won four of those.
Despite losing Adam Stevens, with whom Busch shared one of the most successful driver-crew chief partnerships, he certainly looks forward to a new and exciting term with Beshore.