July 16, 2008

Can Kyle Busch Get to 13 Wins?

Kyle Busch won his 7th race of the year on Sunday at Chicagoland with a late pass of Jimmy Johnson, extending his championship lead to 262 points. He's a lock to make the Chase, so lots of the drama surrounding the rest of the season will be the question of whether he can get the all time record for wins in a season.

Richard Petty (1975) and Jeff Gordon (1998) both have 13 wins in a season, which is the record in NASCAR's "modern era." Petty accomplished the feat in only 30 races, while Gordon had 33 starts. If he starts every race this year, Busch will have 36 chances to win.

Kyle's 7 wins come in the first 19 races of the season, so in order to tie the record he'll have to win 6 of the last 16 races of the year. Can he do it? Three of those races (Talladega, Dover, and Atlanta) will be at tracks where Busch has already won this year. Another four races (California, Phoenix, New Hampshire, Bristol) are at tracks where Busch has won in previous years.

The big question is how the Chase format will affect his run at 13. When Petty and Gordon set the record, there wasn't a Chase for the Cup, so by the last few races they had all but locked up the championship. For the last 10 races this year, Busch will be locked in a tight battle for the Cup. This could make him less likely to go all out for the race win, but knowing Kyle's "checkers or wreckers" mentality I doubt it. What's more likely is that other drivers around him will be points racing late in the season, so they may not try a risky pass on him.

I think Kyle has a really good shot at getting to 13 (or even 14) wins, but anything can happen in 16 races. It should be fun to watch.

1 Responses:

Anonymous said...

I do not think that kyle bush can get to 13 wins because it took him nineteen races to get to seven so it would take him 18 races to get t six if he keeps up the same pace that he has right now I think maybe he will break the record in the near future because he is still young and i think he probly will win a lot of championships in the near future since he is still young.

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