HOMESTEAD, Fla – There’s no doubt about it, Kyle Busch is definitely a generational talent. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has won 207 times in his NASCAR career. No one has won as many NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races nor NASCAR XFINITY Series races than Busch — having taken 56 trips to victory lane in a Truck and 96 in NXS competition.
On the Cup level, he’s also won an astounding 55 times during the course of his storied career. Busch, 34, still isn’t happy with where he sits today though.
“Yeah, I’m behind for sure,” Busch said of where he’d like to be now compared to his goals. “Definitely behind and in wins and championships. Why? The list goes on. It’s a pretty long one. So how many can you get now is about where it’s at.”
Busch, isn’t whining, so don’t even try. I get why he has “haters” but you can’t deny the mans talent. You can’t deny his desire or passion either. That’s what makes him great. The great ones are never satisfied. That’s why they stand out above the pack.
Tom Brady just said last week that despite him winning last year’s Super Bowl, the Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles still haunts him.
The great ones remember their defeats way more than their losses and for Busch, he falls into that category. He hates to lose. Find me someone who does.
For Busch, he wins way more than others, but what irks him is that he’s only scored one championship on the Cup level. For a generational talent, he knows that’s not enough.
“If I end with one, that’s going to suck,” Busch continued. “If I can only get two, well, whatever. But three, four, five, I think five’s still achievable.”
Busch, heads to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the fifth straight year with a chance at a championship. With this format first coming around in 2014, only Kevin Harvick has had as many appearances as Busch in the Championship 4.
The Las Vegas native though is putting a lot of pressure on himself this weekend — he wants to win the championship. He’s been in this moment too many times to have hoisted the Cup just once.
“When you get to this final race in this moment, this championship format the way that it is, and five years in a row and you only come away with one, that gets pretty defeating.”
Busch, says there’s just been “too many missed opportunities” in the past that he’s not willing to let happen on Sunday.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there that could’a should’a would’a and it just didn’t happen so, for whatever reason. And we just got to figure out how to leave all that behind this weekend though and go out there and succeed.
“You set your goal out for the beginning of the year to be able to go out there and do that and everybody’s goal there after is to always just get to Homestead and if we’re, if we’re eligible for Homestead, then we can go after that championship. So I always look at it though as we want to be able to go out and win the championship. So for us to be eligible five years in a row I think is a pretty cool thing, but to come out with one of four is not so cool.
The other factor is this format itself. It’s no longer points racing for a championship. Yes, you points race for 35 weeks, but the final one, points are thrown out the window.
“It’s stressful, man. It’s not stressful until the round of 8 and the round of 8 is the ultimate pressure. Once you get here to Homestead though I feel like it reduces. “It’s just about being in the Championship 4 and being eligible there and you know you’re racing against eight of the best of that time right then and there.
“You look at it, I think we were one through eight last week at Phoenix at one point in the race, right, so it’s hard, it’s not easy and you’re racing for points, literally single points at times that can get you in or out.
“So with this format being the way that it is, it definitely takes time off you probably a little bit, it’s pretty stressful, gives you some more gray hairs than you want — or the loss of hair there for that.
“But past that, just — crew chief, yeah, I would agree with — I mean, Adam, the whole Playoffs he’s been working 90 hour weeks plus. And so it’s crazy the stress and the difficulty and the sacrifice that his family has to go through for all this to work and for all of this to come together. So I know it is my ultimate reward back to him as well as all the families involved on our team to bring home the championship.”