It’s hard to believe that it’s July 23 and Kyle Busch just now scored his first playoff point on the season. Yes, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion had as many playoff points accumulated this year as you and I.
Then, he goes out and wins Stage 1 of Thursday night’s race at the Kansas Speedway en route to his first point scored for the postseason. That’s a very big deal as the drivers that he’s going to be competing for a championship against this Fall have scored several.
Denny Hamlin has 28 playoff points already. Kevin Harvick has 22. Brad Keselowski scored his 15th with a victory in Stage 2. Joey Logano has 14 with Chase Elliott scoring 10 himself. That doesn’t factor in their bonus points for their point standing after race 26 too. As an example, Harvick would net an additional 15 playoff points for winning the regular season championship. That means he’d have 37 playoff points as of today. Busch, has one.
That’s a large advantage for those drivers when points are reset each round and Busch will be trailing them by a lot. Where this is big is, Busch is still winless this year in 19 starts. In fact, he has just one win in his last 41 starts. At this rate, he’s going to have to win in the later rounds of the playoffs if he wants to make it to the Championship 4 for the sixth straight season.
A win appeared to be on the horizon on Thursday night before his No. 18 Toyota skated into the Turn 4 wall late in the race which brought him down pit road for new tires. He was running third at the time of the incident. He’d rebound to finish 11th as the finish isn’t indicative of how much speed he had in Kansas.