16 Days 'Til Daytona - Today's Featured Driver: Kyle Busch

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500.  Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020. 

 

8th Place – Kyle Busch – 2341 pts

 

By the Numbers:

 

10th Best Season in 2020 – Kyle Busch famously had a subpar season in 2020 by his own standards.  He had the most DNFs (Did Not Finish) since his first full-time year in 2005.  The last time he had this few Top 10s was 2015 when he missed the first 11 races due to injury.  His average finish in 2020 was 13.83, his 10th best of 16 full-time seasons.

 

16 Consecutive Seasons with a Win – Much was made about the prospect of Kyle Busch breaking his streak of 15 straight seasons with at least one win.  Once he was eliminated from the playoffs in the round of 12, that became his biggest focus.  In the 34th race of 36 in 2020, he finally captured a win at Texas 2, continuing his streak.

 

3 Stage Wins – Since the introduction of stage racing in 2017, Kyle Busch was among the most dominant drivers when it came to winning race stages.  Coming into 2020, Kyle Busch had won 32 stages over 3 seasons.  2020 was less kind to him, as he only won 3 stages – the first of which didn’t come until the 19th race of the season in Kansas. 

 

+139 Pass Differential – In a very basic way, an important part of being successful on the track is to pass more people than being passed.  It can also be a deceiving statistic.  Start farther back with a good car, and you’re bound to pass many people through the race.  Start on the pole, and you have no where to go but backwards.  Kyle Busch finished 2020 with a +139 pass differential, 10th best of all drivers.

 

7 Years – The difference between Kyle Busch and his older brother Kurt is just under 7 years, and yet Kyle has surpassed Kurt in almost all statistical categories.  Despite 150 less races, Kyle has 25 more wins, 65 more Top 5s, 14 less DNFs, and a better average finish by 2.46 spots. 

 

Kyle Busch is set to return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021, driving the No. 18 Toyota.  One year removed from his 2019 Championship win, 2020 was a year of struggle and adversity.  To switch things up in 2021, his long-time crew chief Adam Stevens has been shuffled to fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell, to be replaced by Ben Beshore.

 

Coming up in two days – Martin Truex Jr.

 

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