With 200 out of the way, Kyle Busch is looking for more

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 17: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates by placing the Winner's Sticker on his car with his wife Samantha and son Brexton after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 and winning his 200th NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway on March 17, 2019 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

How intense a competitor is Kyle Busch?

The victories that elude him seem to bother him more than the wins he celebrates—even monumental ones.

You’d think that Kyle Busch would have been overcome with elation after collecting his 200th NASCAR national series victory in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. After all, that was a milestone goal Busch had announced years ago.

But when Busch crossed the finish line 2.354 seconds ahead of runner-up Joey Logano, his thoughts quickly turned to the wins that had gotten away.

Busch had come close in the March 3 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas, where he ran third. In Saturday’s Xfinity Series event at Auto Club, he dominated until a pit road penalty sent him to the back of the field. Busch rallied to finish second.

After the obligatory, “Oh, yes. Whoo, boy! Awesome race car!” when he crossed the finish line, Busch followed with “Can you imagine if I could have gotten Vegas and yesterday? How many in a row?”

That hate-to-lose attitude has propelled Busch to the 200-victory mark, and it may well carry him to his next goal—raising his Cup victory total from the current 53 to 100.

Greg Engle