Kyle Busch grateful for his lone win last season

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - APRIL 08: KBM owner and NASCAR Cup Series driver, Kyle Busch looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 08, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch’s last season with Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t live up to the driver’s expectations.

Busch won only one race, the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and that victory was a gift. The first- and second-place cars of Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe spun in front of him in the final corner, and Busch was able to beat Reddick to the finish line.

As it turned out, that lone triumph extended Busch’s streak of winning at least one race per season to 18 straight years, tying him at the time with Richard Petty for the NASCAR Cup Series record.

Thanks to his victory at Auto Club Speedway in late February, Busch now has sole possession of the record.

Busch never thought a Cup win on dirt would be so integral to preserving his streak.

“No, no, definitely not,” he said. “It certainly shines a light of just how important every single race, every single week is. And for the nature of us going to all these different venues and having the diversity that we do in the race tracks that we go to is fun to a point.”

Busch also pointed out how perilous it is to drive a Cup car on dirt.

“These things here, you’re literally trying to not spin out when you’re going around there on the race track,” Busch said. “So how do you make a pass when you’re already past the limit of spinning out? It’s tough. It just makes for a tough race.

“Makes it for a little better track position race. No different than anything else that we really do. But that dirt race last year was certainly significant to my years of winning races and capitalizing on that when we did. Lucky for us.”