With Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Kyle Busch celebrated a Sweet 16 of sorts following his first victory of 2020.
Sixteen of course is the number of consecutive seasons Busch has scored at least one or more victories, as the two-time Cup Series champion has now scored a win each season since entering NASCAR’s top series as a full-time competitor in 2005.
The Texas win also enabled Busch to join seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Rudd, and Rusty Wallace for the third-longest streak of consecutive years with at least one victory. With his streak still alive, Busch will look to extend it in 2021 in hopes of catching David Pearson, who is second on the list by scoring wins in 17 consecutive years from 1964 to 1980. Richard Petty holds the all-time record with 18 consecutive seasons with at least one victory from 1960 through 1977.
As the Cup Series heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend for the penultimate race on the 36-race schedule, Busch is hoping to keep the momentum from Texas going and also add a third Grandfather clock to his trophy case for winning a race at the paperclip-shaped half-mile oval in NASCAR’s top series.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), heads to Martinsville for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 with a win in hand and to a track where he’s run as well as anywhere over his last 10 starts. Since the fall of 2015, Busch has racked up an impressive eight Martinsville top-10 finishes, including victories in April 2016 and October 2018.
Early in his 13-year tenure with JGR, however, this wasn’t always the case at Martinsville. In fact, Busch finished outside the top-10 in three of his first four Martinsville races with JGR in 2008 and 2009. While he scored four combined top-fives from 2010 to 2014, it wasn’t until 2015 that he found his stride at Martinsville.
The beginning of the recent success at Martinsville for Busch and the M&M’s team came with the Las Vegas native’s first career win there in April 2016. Not only did he bring home his first Martinsville clock, he did it in dominating fashion, leading five times for a race-high 352 laps en route to victory lane.
So as the season heads into the homestretch, Busch and the M&M’S team hope to take advantage of the confidence built from their win at Texas Wednesday night, as well as his strong runs at Martinsville since 2015. Since he’s already conquered the .526-mile short track in Southern Virginia twice in recent years, Busch hopes he can turn his Sweet 16 win into yet another traditional Grandfather clock at the end of Sunday’s 500-lap marathon.