For years, Kyle Busch maintained that once he hit 100 NASCAR Xfinity Series victories, then he’d step away from NASCAR’s version of AAA. He did so in 2021 when he hit that century mark with a win that June in Nashville. While he had commitments to run all 5 allotted races that season, the Nashville run was the meat in the sandwich. He still had two more starts.
He won them both.
Busch has 102 career Xfinity Series victories. That’s 53 more than next best (Mark Martin who has 49). He grew increasingly more and more tired of fans whining about him racing in that series and elected to have a big number like 100 and just be done.
What most people didn’t realize however, it wasn’t like Busch was doing it to beat up on kids.
Helped Sell Sponsorship
Joe Gibbs Racing had an Xfinity program. They needed a driver like Busch to sell sponsorship for in that series. An example of that would be, Gibbs could walk into a Fortune 500 company and say, I have this car and need funding and we’d like to have you on our car to sponsor it. That company would then ask what they get in return. If JGR offered services on an Xfinity car without Busch, they’d get a significant amount less than they’d get with him.
So what Gibbs would do is say, sponsor x amount of races on this car and I can assure you that you’d get Kyle Busch in an x amount of them.
So Busch obliged.
Hence why they’d sell Busch. The more he runs, the better the car does, the happier the sponsor is.
NASCAR in wake of this, made a rule change to hinder full-time Cup drivers from showing up every week. For the 2017 season, they limited the starts per year for any Cup driver with at least five years of experience. They also couldn’t race in the postseason as well as any Dash 4 Cash Races. That limit has since dropped even more to 5.
Busch would win most of those allotted races still. While doing so, Busch’s popularity dropped even more because people didn’t fully understand why he was doing it.
Busch’s Hobby Is Racing
Busch not only did this to help JGR, but racing also helps keep him sharp. Racing is Busch’s hobby still too. Some like to hunt. Some like to fish. Some like to run marathons. Some like to hike. Busch doesn’t. Busch’s hobby is racing. So why not get seat time when it’s allowed?
That’s why I never really cared. I applauded him racing in the Xfinity Series.
Busch Racing Helps The Series Overall Too
The more times the Cup drivers would race in the Xfinity Series, the higher the attendance and ratings. The full-time Xfinity Series drivers liked it too because if you want to eventually make it up to the Cup ranks, why not racing against them now too? They could learn a thing or two just by being in the same race as the Kyle Busch’s or Kevin Harvick’s, etc.
They see the real time data. They see how they handle themselves on track. It’s a massive win for them.
It was really only the “haters” that were against it.
Now though, after a one-year retirement, Busch is back. He announced on his social media channels on Friday afternoon that his brief Xfinity Series retirement is done. He’ll run all five allotted races with Kaulig Racing in the No. 10 Chevrolet. Those races are Vegas, Phoenix, Charlotte, Watkins Glen and the Labor Day weekend race at Darlington.
Out of his last 17 NXS starts, he’s won 10 of them including 14 Top-5 finishes in that span. He went 5-for-5 in 2021. 14 of the last 17 races at that he had a top three.
By Busch going to RCR and Chevrolet, it allows them to sell Busch which in turn helps his salary which in turn means him racing some races again in the Xfinity Series.