The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry TRD has just made NASCAR history in a very surprising manner. Kyle Busch won at Bristol Motor Speedway and tied Richard Petty’s all-time mark for most consecutive seasons with a win at 18.
Busch pulled off his historic feat in a stunning finish. He was running third on the final lap of the Food City Dirt Race, and he was three seconds behind leader Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe entering the final two turns. The situation drastically changed when the driver of the No. 14 tried to pull a slide job, lost control, and sent both himself and Reddick into a spin. Busch drove past both of them and crossed the start-finish line first.
“We backed into that one, didn’t we? It sure feels good just to get a win,” Busch told PRN after capturing his first checkered flag of the year. “It’s been a little bit of a long time here, just overall a great day. Just proud of the guys, they work hard.”
With the trip to Victory Lane, Busch snaps a winless streak dating back to the 2021 season. Prior to the Food City Dirt Race, he last won at Pocono Raceway on June 27 and took a bow with the checkered flag for the second time that year.
ALL the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on NASCAR newsletter here!
Busch First Won During His Rookie Season
The two-time Cup Series champion has achieved a considerable amount of success during his full-time career, which has featured numerous starts for both Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. In fact, he has been a regular visitor to Victory Lane since his rookie year.
Busch’s first win took place in 2005 when he drove the No. 5 Chevrolet and worked with crew chief Alan Gustafson. He held off Greg Biffle at Auto Club Speedway on September 4 after leading 95 laps. Busch added a second win later in the year at Phoenix Raceway.
Busch won a total of four races in the Hendrick Motorsports entry while starting to chase down Petty’s all-time mark for consecutive seasons with a win. However, he turned a major corner once he landed a seat at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Busch won eight races during his first year in the No. 18, and he ended the season 10th in the championship standings. This inaugural year with JGR served as a glimpse of things to come. Busch has reached Victory Lane a total of 56 times in the No. 18, taking his overall total to 60, and he has won two championships.
Busch Moved JGR Closer to Another Historic Mark
The win at Bristol Motor Speedway was crucial for Busch, his Hall of Fame resume, and his overall legacy in the sport. He is now ninth all-time in wins with the most among active drivers. The win also moved JGR closer to another historic mark that very few organizations have reached.
The win at Bristol was JGR’s 196th and Busch’s 56th in the No. 18. The championship-winning organization entered the year needing only six wins to reach 200 all-time in the Cup Series, which would put it alongside Hendrick Motorsports (284 wins) and Petty Enterprises (268 wins).
Denny Hamlin won JGR’s first race of the 2022 season. He captured the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 3, moving the organization to 195 wins. Busch then added the 196th during the stunning finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Now there are questions about which drivers will rattle off the four remaining wins.
READ NEXT: America’s Crew Chief is Making a Comeback