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NASCAR: Why Kyle Busch and Richard Petty's 200 wins can't be compared

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
ANALYST
Modified 19 Mar 2019, 04:27 IST
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Kyle Busch won yesterday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, and as a result has tied Richard Petty with 200 wins in NASCAR. The question going around is are the two milestones comparable or not? While the answer is dependent on who you ask, if you really think about it, they really aren’t. 

All of Petty’s 200 wins were in the Cup Series, while Busch’s wins are spread out throughout the Trucks (53 wins), Xfinity (94 wins), and Cup (53 wins). However, there were way more races back in the day when Petty was racking up his wins, while there are only 36 Cup races (not counting no-points races) and the limited Truck and Xfinity races Busch runs.

However, some of the fields during Petty’s time were way smaller, which means less competitive cars as compared to this era of NASCAR, where there are a handful of guys that can win on a weekly basis. 

The one thing that kind of diminishes Busch’s 200 wins is that 147 of them are in Truck and Xfinity, often referred to as the minor leagues of NASCAR. In the Truck series, Busch runs his own equipment which is arguably the best in that series and he races against drivers, some of which who are teenagers, that may not ever reach the Cup level.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Auto Club 400
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Auto Club 400

In the Xfinity Series, aside from his time with Hedrick Motorsports and the season he ran his own equipment, he has run a Joe Gibbs Racing car, which is arguably the best in that series as well. However, the Xfinity wins are a bit more impressive as some Cup regulars' race in Xfinity, even though fans don’t like it. If you take those 147 wins away though, his accomplishments don’t look as impressive.  

Busch is only 33 years old and if he keeps up his pace, he can make a run for 100 Cup victories, but that might be hard to do. Look at Jimmie Johnson, who has 83 Cup victories. A few years ago, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that he would reach the 100-victory mark, but he has struggled a lot lately and that feat seems to be unlikely at this point. At this point, it is doubtful anyone will reach 100 Cup victories ever again due to how completive fields are these days and the constant changes NASCAR males. So, while Busch’s 200 victories are certainly remarkable and should be recognized, comparing his 200 to The King’s 200 is like comparing apples to oranges.  

Published 19 Mar 2019, 04:27 IST
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