(Cover Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
By Adam Carabine
In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2023 Daytona 500. Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the 36 charters of 2022.
31st Place – Kurt Busch – 485 pts
23XI RACING – TOYOTA
(While multiple drivers did drive the 45, we've chosen to focus solely on Kurt Busch!)
20 Starts in 2022 – Unfortunately, Kurt Busch’s 2022 season was cut short due to a concussion. He crashed his car during qualifying at Pocono in July, and was unable to return for the remainder of the year. While he had already qualified for the playoffs by winning at Kansas earlier in the season, this would be the first time he did not compete in the playoffs since 2012.
13th Best Points per Race Average – Finishing 31st on the season really was only because of his inability to return after his concussion. When looking at the average number of points he earned per race – 24.15 points per race – that slots him in 13th of the Cup Series Charters. That puts him ahead of Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, and others.
77 Stage Points in 2022 – Through his 20 races this year, Kurt Busch earned himself 77 stage points, meaning he finished a stage in the Top-10. This also included 2 stage wins – one at Kansas (where he went on to win), and the other at WWT-Gateway.
+237 Pass Differential in 2022 – It’s important to note that this stat is slightly less complete than the drivers who competed in all 36 races. However, that only makes this stat more impressive. Of all the Cup Series Charters, Kurt Busch ranked 7th in this category. If he had stayed at that pace and completed all the races, his pass differential would have been approximately +427 – good enough for 2nd best.
776 Career Cup Series Races – Kurt Busch will finish his (full-time) career with 776 Cup Series races under his belt. Currently that slots him in at 13th all-time. The next current driver who has a chance of passing him is his brother, Kyle, but it will take him another 3.7 full-time seasons to catch him. Also, Kurt Busch did not rule out a part-time schedule once he has completely recovered from his concussion issues.
Next year, 23XI Racing brings Tyler Reddick into the fold to drive the #45. Reddick will be featured in our series a little later on down the line. Kurt Busch did announce his retirement from full-time racing, but remains a part of the 23XI team in a consulting role for now.