Kyle Busch won at Auto Club Speedway on February 26 and punched his ticket to the Cup Series playoffs. He also set a new NASCAR record in the process.
The driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro entered the Pala Casino 400 in a tie with seven-time champion Richard Petty. They both had 18 consecutive seasons with at least one win. Busch broke this tie and set a new record by winning the final race on the two-mile configuration of Auto Club Speedway.
Busch’s first win took place in 2005 as he drove for Hendrick Motorsports. He won at Auto Club Speedway and celebrated for the first time in Victory Lane after a Cup Series race. He has since gone on to win another 60 times while driving for HMS, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Richard Childress Racing. Five of his 61 career Cup Series wins have taken place at Auto Club Speedway.
Other Drivers Expected This Performance
There have been questions throughout the offseason about how Busch would perform in the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Would he deliver another multi-win season? Would he score his first win on a paved track since Pocono Raceway on June 27, 2021?
These questions came from the members of the media and from the racing fans. Busch’s peers, for comparison, did not share these concerns. They expected Busch to join RCR and immediately begin competing for wins.
“Why is anyone surprised?” Chase Elliott asked media members after the race. “That’s mind-boggling to me that anyone is surprised that Kyle’s a fantastic — one of the best — race car drivers to ever do this.
“That didn’t change overnight. So, I’m not surprised and anybody who is should rethink their NASCAR knowledge, in my opinion.”
Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain both weighed in after posting top-five finishes. Chastain said outright that Busch is “better than me all the time.” Suarez said that he and his team needed to do more to beat the two-time Cup Series champion.
Busch Helped Break Another Record
The race at Auto Club Speedway helped Busch set a record that will be extremely difficult to break. It also helped him and his brother, Kurt Busch, break another record that has lasted for decades.
The Busch brothers kicked off 2023 in a tie with Bobby and Donnie Allison for the most “sibling” wins in the NASCAR Cup Series (94). The win at Auto Club Speedway helped the Busch brothers reach 95 combined Cup Series wins, which made them the winningest brothers.
Kurt Busch, the 2004 Cup Series champion, delivered 34 wins during his time competing at the top level of NASCAR. Busch now has 61, and he only expects to keep adding to this total during his time with Richard Childress Racing.
“I never doubted myself, but sometimes you do,” Busch said during his post-race interview with FOX Sports. “You kind of get down on it, you wonder what’s going on and what’s happening and you put yourself in a different situation and you’re able to come out here and reward your guys.
“It’s not about me always winning but it’s about the guys. I’ve been with a lot of great people that have given me a lot of great opportunities in my career, so it’s awesome to be able to reward them. I’m going to enjoy it for sure, and hopefully, there’s many more left to go.”