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Kyle Busch's 161 Wins: Impressive or Overrated?

Kyle Busch continued his winning ways this past weekend by taking the checkerd's in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 for the Xfinity Series along with the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night.  Busch has now won the last 4 events ran by the three national divisions (Cup, Xfinity, Trucks).  It is nothing new that Kyle Busch is winning inside the Cup car, add to that 4 Xfinity wins and a truck win at Martinsville, and you have the combination for a lot of trophies.  Throughout his career, Busch has made a name for himself by winning in anything he drives.  At the age of 31, Busch has already collected 161 wins in all three national divisions combined, leading many to question where he stacks up all-time.  While that question won't be answered today, this post is going to start the conversation by looking at both sides of Busch's 161 winning performances.  In this blog, I am going to state why Busch's wins are impressive on one hand, yet over hyped on the other.  Before we get going, I do want to acknowledge that 'Rowdy' is a great driver no matter how you view him.  Sometimes you have to get past bias to see a legend in the making.  I will also state, that I am by no means a Kyle Busch fan, but to analyze the sport you have to use facts and understand how good or bad a driver really is.  Now, enough talking, let's get to it!

1) Why it's impressive.

Let's face it, 161 wins in any competition is pretty amazing.  Busch has shown success in all three national divisions, winning 19% of all races he has started in.  Considering 125 (77.63%) of Busch's 161 wins were earned in the lower divisions (Xfinity: 80, Trucks: 45), many fans will question the strength of his resume.  While this is a valid point, you also have to consider that NASCAR has never been as competitive as it is now.  In the old school days whoever built the fastest car won the race, with maybe 10 drivers having a legitimate chance to win.  Nowadays, the fastest car doesn't always emerge victorious, with nearly 20 teams having a chance to win every week.  Even the lower divisions are no walk in the park, with a solid 7-10 teams having a chance to win on Friday & Saturday nights.  Every division is as strong as it has they've ever been, which proves that Busch has won based on talent.  Busch may have only earned 36 wins (22.36%) inside a Cup car, but winning a combined 161 races in three of the top racing series in the world, is something worth applauding. 

2) Why it's over-hyped.

As I mentioned before, 161 wins is impressive no matter how you cut it.  The only issue is that many fans are now acknowledging Busch as 'the best there has ever been'.  Of course we all have our opinions (which is awesome), but this statement seems to be a bit overrated, much like a his number of total wins.  Again, it is no easy task to win even 1 race, let alone another 160, but if you take a further look at Busch's victories, they aren't as mind blowing as you would think.  Busch has started in 130 truck series races, taking home 45 race wins.  Yes, this does mean Busch wins at least 3 out of every 10 events, but you must remember the competition he is up against.  Names like Matt Crafton, Timothy Peters, and Tyler Reddick, are the only real competition Busch has most weekends.  The majority of truck races are filled with rookies or underfunded teams, which leaves just a handful of real threats.  Truck regulars are talented in their own right, but the outcome may be different if Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick were running all of the same events.  The same goes for the Xfinity Series.  While there are more quality drivers racing in the 2nd-tier division, only 5-10 teams really compete for wins on a regular basis.  If you look at the current field of Xfinity Series drivers, only 7 have ever won an Xfinity race, with only 4 winning multiple events (out of 40 drivers).  Busch's success is like a simple math problem, take a great driver... add the best cars... subtract high profile competition, then you have the recipe for a lot of wins.  

Overall, you have to make your own decision on how to view Busch's 161 wins.  Rowdy is one of the best drivers the sport has ever seen, and his success speaks for itself.  Busch is doing things we have never seen done before inside of a racecar.  As a fan of the sport, all I ask is that we look at the Las Vegas native with objectivity and realize that a combination of raw talent, good equipment, and fluctuating competition has led him to be one of the winningest drivers in NASCAR history.  

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!  I want to know what you think on Busch's success over the years!  Be sure to TWEET & FOLLOW me on Twitter at @nascar_opinion!  Also, go like the Facebook page (Nascar Opinion) and follow me on Instagram at NASCAR OPINION!  Again, thanks for supporting and have a great week! 

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