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Who Wins Their 3rd Cup Championship First?

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Who Will Win Their 3rd Championship First?

  • Kyle Busch

  • Joey Logano

NASCAR saw a rush of retirements that included three recent retirees in Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart leave full time competition over the last decade.They were each successful in their reigns as not only past champions, but multiple time champions. They left us with a string of single champions. Kyle and Kurt Busch each had one, Martin Truex, Brad K, it wasn't until 2019 that Kyle won his second...

With the crowning of Joey Logano as the 2022 champion, we can once again have some fun with the debate of the greater legend. It feels like yesterday we were predicting these young men would be great Cup racers some day. Our team reviewed each of their recent on-track success and gave their opinion on which two-time champion may win their third title first.

Matt Nicholson (RR Contributor): KYLE BUSCH

"If I had to pick between the two, I would say that RCR gets put back onto the map and wins their first cup since 1994 when Kyle Busch wins his third cup title, in 2024."

Matt Marr (RR Writer): JOEY LOGANO

"...Who will be the first to be a three time champ? The two have had a storied rivalry over the last decade, but Kyle Busch is with a new team in 2023 racing with Richard Childress Racing. Busch is not like any other driver; he has the ability to take a wrecked car and make it competitive. RCR has had significant improvement the last couple of seasons with Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick; there is no doubt that Busch can come out swinging in the 8 car and win races, but that elusive third championship will have to wait a few more years until proper chemistry between driver and crew is established. The last time a driver won the championship with a new team was Kevin Harvick in 2014.

I think Joey Logano and Paul Wolfe have built themselves up to be championship favourites every year from here on out. They have been the most consistent team in the Penske garage and have shown not only competitiveness and consistency at every type of race track on the schedule, but also shown they can win anywhere. Although Kyle Busch as a driver can win anywhere on the schedule, we have yet to see the kind of relationship he will have with his new crew chief at RCR in 2023. I believe Logano will win his 3rd championship before Kyle Busch.

Tyler Lawler (On-Air and Photography): JOEY LOGANO

“The battle for three” between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch will come down to how well Kyle meshes with his new team over at Richard Childress Racing. With Joey coming off a great season with Penske Racing this year one could say it's Joey's to lose. My opinion is that Kyle Busch can win in anything and in time he will get that third championship. When it comes down to it momentum plays a huge part in winning championships, and Joey has great momentum with a great team backing him. That is why I think that Joey will not only get to three first but he will get a back to back champ and win his third in the 2023 season.

Collin Best (SR. Open-Wheel Writer): JOEY LOGANO

With Kyle Busch going to RCR, I find it hard to believe that we will ever see him holding the Bill France Cup in the twilight of his career. Logano has the team and is keeping all the championship pieces for years to come and with him coming into statistically the prime of his career, it wouldn’t surprise me if Logano wins two or three more when everything is said and done.

Crystal Clay (Chief Motorsports Correspondent): JOEY LOGANO

If, in the NASCAR playoff format we are to see a three-time champion, it’s a very tight race between Kyle Busch and Joey Logano when it comes to talent.

Logano’s confidence, ability to get things done in high-pressure moments, and longevity with Team Penske are going to make the biggest difference.

Kyle Busch is never a driver to count out, however, we’ll see him racing in a Chevy with RCR next season. I can predict a playoff run for Busch, but I don’t know how good I feel about another championship peeking out around the corner as soon as I do for our 2022 champ. Final answer, Joey Logano.

Adam Carabine (Managing Editor): JOEY LOGANO

The court of public opinion would likely lead one to think that Kyle Busch has the major statistical upper hand over Joey Logano. However, upon closer inspection of the numbers, Logano is actually closer than you might think.

As far as career Cup Series average finish goes, they are separated by 0.21 positions (Busch with the slight edge). However, if you isolate the previous four seasons, Logano takes the advantage by nearly a full position.

In those previous four seasons, they each have a championship (Busch – 2019, Logano – 2022). They’ve competed in the same number of races (144), with Logano taking the slight edge in wins (10-9) over that period.

Career statistics are important in getting a picture of the driver as a whole, but looking at the last four years paints a picture that includes current momentum as well. Kyle Busch looks to be trending downward, while Joey Logano’s stock may be on the rise.

Now consider that Busch is moving to Richard Childress Racing for the foreseeable future, and I think it becomes obvious that Logano is the clear favourite to get his 3rd championship first.

In both 2021 and 2022, Logano’s Team Penske was the 3rd best team by points, and RCR was 6th. Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch’s former team finished 2nd in both years, despite less-than-stellar years from the #18 team.

It’s no secret that Richard Childress Racing is getting a goldmine of new information from hiring Kyle Busch, and his knowledge and expertise will help to raise the bar for success at his new team. But Team Penske is a well-established top-tier team, with Logano leading the way.

I think it’s safe to say we’ll see another Logano championship in the next 3 years, while Kyle Busch may have already won his last.

A.J. Appeal (Site Administrator): KYLE BUSCH

Kyle has found improvement on the track with each new team he's joined. From Roush, to Hendrick, to Gibbs, and now RCR, I think it is a safe bet to assume next several years with RCR are remarkable. The #8 Chevrolet has consistent championship calibre speed for the first time since their driver lineup included Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. Team Penske will be quick, but Rowdy is a one-of-a-kind talent.


OUR team has offered their thoughts, what are yours?


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