Season Recap: Kyle Busch

Photo by Jeremy Thompson/
Kyle Busch celebrates his victory and Sprint Cup championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.

By Dominic Aragon
December 14, 2015

Unlike 14 of his Chase competitors, Kyle Busch’s season didn’t begin at the Daytona 500.

Busch’s championship run began with an 11th place run at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600, the 12th event on the schedule.

In his first four races back behind-the-wheel of the No. 18, Busch had scored one top-ten finish and posted two DNF’s. Busch sat 39th in driver standings, 173 points back of the top-30 with 11 races remaining in the regular season.

Busch proceeded to score victories in four of the next five event, including a three consecutive win streak, becoming the first driver since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to win three races in-a-row.

Busch qualified for the 2015 Chase via his victories and maintaining a position inside the top-30 in driver’s points. Seeded first, Busch earned his eighth career Chase berth and third consecutive.

The Las Vegas native posted six top-five finishes throughout the Chase, including four consecutive to round out the season. 

Busch is the fifth different Sprint Cup champion in the last five Sprint Cup seasons. His five victories in 2015 marked his most in a season since 2008.

His average starting position of 8.2 and average finishing position of 10.8 are both career highs.

This table depicts Busch's point deficit to 30th
 after each respective race during the regular season.


“I feel pretty good. All in all, I felt like that was a great race for us. We ran really strong. We ran up front, and we showed we had some speed. You know, it certainly is frustrating to finish where we did. 

“That’s disappointing. But sometimes you do win these things by fuelmileage races, so congratulations to our teammates... 

I feel good, and I admit I’ve probably got a little left foot soreness, but other than that, everything is pretty hunkydory.”

“Whether we get into the Chase and become Chase eligible next week or the week after or the week after that, it doesn't matter as long as it comes post‑race Richmond. That's all that matters.

Photo by Dante Ricci/
Kyle Busch races during the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2015. Busch sat on the pole and led the white flag lap, but ran out of fuel, eventually finishing 21st.

“Whether we get in and whether we continue to grow and get top 25, none of that matters, just us being able to achieve the top‑30 rule and get as many wins as possible in order to—gives us the top seed come Chase time.”

“It was an unbelievable beginning and a pretty believable middle part of the season and how we ran. That’s just how we’re supposed to be and how this 18 M&M’s Camry is supposed to be every week. Again tonight Joe Gibbs Racing had a really good showing. Just proud of Adam Stevens and all my guys. They never gave up.

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/
Kyle Busch spends time with son Brexton and wife Samantha prior to the start of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 18, 2015.

“They fought hard, they worked really good together and a first year team so I’m really proud of all of that. It’s come together real well and it’s just a matter now of being able to put our heads down and get the job done. We definitely have equipment capable of doing it. It might be a race between all four Gibbs cars come Homestead, but I’m sure Joe [Gibbs] will love that.”

“I don't know that anybody could have ever dreamt of this year especially, but to have dreamt of my career path the way it's kind of gone, it's certainly amazing to have the opportunity right now to be in this position with Joe Gibbs and M&M's and Toyota and Adam Stevens.

“For them all to prepare such a great race car for me tonight, to be able to go out there and perform in this format and to do what we did to end up in victory lane, and to win this championship by winning the race was something special.

“You know, I don't know if it's all completely sunk in yet. I remember winning the XFINITY Series championship, and it took a little bit to kind of get in, and I'm sure we'll be feeling that here in a few weeks in Las Vegas.”

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/
Kyle Busch's No. 18 car at Kansas Speedway in October.

“When I had the crash and when I knew instantly that the right leg was broken, the left foot was broke, I was really worried. I was actually like—I don't know if it flashed before my eyes or if I just thought it, but it was like, ‘Man, I'm going to have to go back to laying decals.’ I was like, ‘Man, I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to get back in a car again.’ I just didn't know how severe it was.

But fortunately for me it wasn't that bad, and I was able to put it all back together and be here today. But it did worry me for sure. You know, it crossed my mind. I was thinking, too, for Samantha and for Brexton, I was like, ‘Man, my wife is pregnant, I've got no job,’ so I was a bit worried.

But you know, I think that's just the sort of emotion that goes through in that particular moment, but past that, everything has kind of gone really well, and to be back in this place that I am right now is even better than I was before.”

Photo by Jeremy Thompson/
Kyle Busch celebrates his win and championship victory with a burnout at Homestead-Miami Speewday on November 22, 2015.

Thanks to:
Racing Reference
NASCAR Media Group

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