We’ve all heard the adage, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. For racers, nothing could be further from the truth. Winning is everything.
And no matter how fervently they insist that they couldn’t have done it without the entire team, the reality is much simpler. The owner may have given him the best equipment, the crew chief may have executed the perfect strategies and the pit crew may have performed flawlessly to get their driver in position to win.
But, when the green flag waves and everything is on the line, it all comes down to one thing…the driver. How badly does he want it and what is he willing to risk?
As Dale Earnhardt once said, “The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car; it’s the one who refuses to lose.”
No current driver embodies this competitive spirit more so than Kyle Busch.
After an injury in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race in 2015 left Busch sidelined for 11 races, he came back to capture five checkered flags, including the season finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway and won the Sprint Cup championship.
It seemed as if the time away spent with wife, Samantha, and the birth of his son, Brexton, had given him a new perspective. We saw a more mature and focused driver. And while he is still prone to the occasional bursts of temper when things don’t go his way, Busch is slowly shedding his role as villain and embracing his reign as Champ.
He hasn’t lost any steam this year.
Busch has won four straight NASCAR national touring races, scoring the victory at last week’s Camping World Truck Series race as well as the Sprint Cup race at Martinsville. He followed that up with another sweep at Texas Motor Speedway, winning the XFINITY Series race and his second consecutive Cup race.
His 36th Sprint Cup Series victory ties him with Matt Kenseth for 20th place on the all-time wins list. Additionally, Busch gained two spots to lead the points standings, six points ahead of Jimmie Johnson in second place.
Add to that, 80 XFINITY wins and 45 in the Camping World Truck Series, and you begin to grasp the enormity of what he has accomplished.
Busch is enjoying his success and life in general.
“It’s pretty darn good, I’ll tell you that,” he said after the Cup race at Texas. “I’ve got a great wife, a great son and I’m having a blast, living the dream.”
While he’s savoring this year’s success, Busch is also looking ahead to the future and the possibilities are endless.
“There are plenty of things that are out there to achieve,” Busch recently said. “Building that win column, to be able to build that to 100 or something like that. That would be pretty special. Now whether 100 is reachable or not, I doubt it, but we’ll give it our best shot.”
Hero or villain, Busch’s talent on the track is undeniable. The ride may sometimes get bumpy but it is always compelling.