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2-Headed Monster: Should Kyle Busch Continue Racing in the Xfinity Series?

Is it over? Kyle Busch has one scheduled more start left in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021. Busch won his 100th race earlier last month at Nashville Superspeedway and his win at Road America last weekend (July 3) put his total to 101 wins. He has mentioned in the past that once he hit 100 wins in the Xfinity Series, he would retire from the series entirely.

Saturday’s (July 10) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled to be Busch’s last start in the Xfinity Series this season. If Busch honors his word that means his last series start ever would come this weekend. That’s right: the greatest driver to ever climb in an Xfinity Series racecar would never do so again, stepping away from the series at the age of 36. Is that the right move though?

See also
Dropping the Hammer: The 100(ish) Xfinity Bows of Kyle Busch

Should Busch be done with Xfinity or should he continue to compete past the 2021 season? Luken Glover and Clayton Caldwell debate.

100 is just the beginning

There are likely very few fans outside of “Rowdy Nation” who don’t want to see Xfinity regulars win. Put me down as one of those guys. And there is an argument to be made that Cup guys hinder Xfinity regulars from winning races. That is why it was a smart idea to regulate how many races a Cup driver could compete in. However, Kyle Busch should still keep pushing to race in the series in the future.

For starters, Busch’s presence provides an extra incentive for Xfinity drivers to win. He is not unbeatable in Xfinity races. In racing, no one is. In 2020, Busch made five starts in the series and won only once. Christopher Bell once said that the Cup drivers push the Xfinity drivers to win even more. It sets a mark of “if I can beat a Cup guy, then I belong here.” We’ve seen drivers like Justin Allgaier and Austin Cindric give Busch all he can handle this year. If you can beat Busch and win several races in a season, it also raises the eyebrows of owners in the Cup Series.

See also
Xfinity Breakdown: Fresh Tires Boost Kyle Busch to Surprise Henry 180 Victory at Road America

The promoting side of racing has also thrived with Busch. There are fans who would likely go to an Xfinity race who don’t know most of the drivers in the series. But many would know who Busch is, and that adds some extra intrigue. When you go to a sporting event, you want to see a big name or someone making headlines. Busch has successfully done that and strengthened the Rowdy Nation versus anti-Busch crowd in the process. A fairly new commercial compares Busch to the “wearer of the black hat.” That fits him and he wears that hat no matter where he is.

Additionally, from a marketing aspect, many sponsors have taken advantage of Busch’s appearances in the series. It is cheaper to sponsor an Xfinity car than a Cup car. We’ve seen several of Busch’s associates on his No. 18 Cup car appear as a primary on the No. 54 Xfinity car, as well as his primary Cup sponsor, M&M’s. Twix has boosted their sponsorship with some eye-catching schemes. Last year, Appalachian State University got an opportunity for exposure on Rowdy’s car. M&M’s has promoted products, such as M&M’s Ice Cream appearing on the car at Road America. The Candy Man has embraced the iconic image of Mars and even brought on his own company in Rowdy Energy. It’s the perfect opportunity to sponsor a NASCAR legend in the making at a cheaper cost.

Finally, Busch continues to make history with his runs in the Xfinity Series. His 100th win at Nashville listed him with only David Pearson and Richard Petty to reach such a mark in any NASCAR series. That is some pretty high-class company to be in with. Busch can only race in five Xfinity events per season, and he may not race that many in a season in the future. But the competitive side in the Las Vegas-native likely wants to reach the next goal possibly, which would be 150 wins. Busch is no stranger to making history and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wants to make more.

It has certainly been a hot topic over the past few years, especially in Busch’s case. And like many subjects in the realm of NASCAR, there are many people on both sides of the aisle. Cup drivers should not be allowed to race in a lower series without a fixed number in my opinion, but a limited amount like we currently see sets a challenge for the young drivers to prove just how hungry they are. — Luken Glover

It’s a Developmental Series

Kyle Busch has won 101 races in the Xfinity Series and if I were to write this piece a week later, that number is likely to increase to 102 wins. I appreciate Kyle’s desire to race as much as he’d like. It’s awesome to see someone so obsessed with the sport of racing that he can’t get enough of it, even after all of these years.

With that being said, it’s tough to watch someone completely dominate a series the way Kyle has, and to me, it totally ruins the purpose of the Xfinity Series.

I know what people are going to say: “Mark Martin did it in the 1990s. Nobody cared then.” And there is some truth to that. Martin did infiltrate the Xfinity Series back then and was winning a whole bunch of races in the Winn Dixie No. 60 car.

For the majority of Martin’s time in the No. 60 car, it was a solo-car operation. The fight was way fairer than it is today. Joe Gibbs Racing has four, sometimes five, Xfinity teams at one time.

I think that’s the biggest difference: just how closely associated the Xfinity Series teams are to the Cup Series team. Joe Gibbs Racing, for which Busch competes in both series, has crew chiefs and crew members that have been or will soon be on the Cup side of the program. JGR treats the Xfinity Series as the breeding ground for its Cup program.

So when Busch, a Cup driver with almost 60 wins in the Cup Series goes and drives in the Xfinity Series, he is doing so with a powerhouse team. Think of the experience, finances and wherewithal that Busch and his team have and then think of the same thing for a team like JD Motorsports or Jeremy Clements Racing. It’s not even close to the same team.

That’s to take nothing away from JD Motorsports or Jeremy Clements. They are what makes the Xfinity Series great and they deserve to go out and compete in this series. They are trying to make a living. That’s what the series is there for, teams like them.

See also
Dropping the Hammer: Atlanta Motor Speedway's Catch-22

It is not there for Busch to fatten his wallet and stats. You can argue all you want about the point of the Xfinity Series and why it’s even there. It started as a completely different series than the Cup Series with late model stock cars. From there, it’s evolved into the series that it is today. I believe the Xfinity Series needs an identity, and that identity shouldn’t be Cup drivers coming down and running the series with a Cup team and a Cup pit crew and competing against teams with one-tenth the budget. It’s almost like fishing with dynamite.

Plus, something that is hardly ever mentioned and is more important now than ever is the recognition certain drivers are trying to build in the NASCAR’s No. 2 series. You need to be known to get sponsorship to help your way to the Cup Series. One of the ways to do that is if you go out and win Xfinity races. If you win, you get noticed. Look at John Hunter Nemechek this season in the Camping World Truck Series. Has his stock ever been higher?

If Busch continues to dominate the series, there are less and less opportunities for young drivers to make a name for themselves. It’s a lot harder for these young drivers to get noticed when they don’t nearly have the opportunity current Cup drivers are getting.

That is not good for the series and not good for the sport as a whole. We need a series where young drivers can build a name for themselves. It’s really hard to do that running second, 15 seconds behind Busch in Cup equipment every week.

I’m not trying to minimize what Busch has done in the Xfinity Series. He’s won a ton of races and it’s impressive that he can win all those races in a competitive division like the Xfinity Series. There’s no question that his talent and ability to drive a stock car are remarkable.

However, the Cup Series is where he should showcase that talent. The Xfinity Series should be a developmental series and not a series infiltrated by Cup regulars. Busch should give up running Xfinity Series races and should have a long time ago. – Clayton Caldwell

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Sally Baker

If Kyle were to run in a car from an ‘underdog’ team when he races, it would be a lot more interesting. Not only could he share his knowledge about how they can improve their program, but it would showcase how much his talent could make a difference. Having a top notch driver in a top notch car prepared and crewed by a Cup team is not exactly a fair comparison. Many Cup drivers who ran Busch series regularly ran of full time Busch teams or their own startup teams. That, to me, would make his participation a lot more interesting.

Jake

It all depends on what qualifying and practice look like for cup next year. KB has been the biggest driver advocate for the return of both and he blamed last years struggles on the lack of both.

If they (and they should) return to normal next year, I can see him stepping out of the NXS ride.

The more likely reality is that he continues to race in the lower series regardless to help bring in sponsors for the other drivers and JGRs NXS teams as a whole

Kurt Smith - Ex-Frontstretch Staff

Not trying to be combative…just making a point: Kyle only ran in four races in Xfinity this season. It’s not like he’s in every race. You probably wouldn’t be writing this article if he only one one or two of these events, right? Just saying.

Ricky

First let me say that Kyle has proven himself as one of the greatest cup drivers ever by his two championships and his 50+ wins in that series.
Financially it makes sense for KB and Joe Gibbs to race at the Xfinity level .It is guaranteed income to JBRs’ yield from Nascar racing with what amounts to a Toyota Factory team. I am doubtful that KB racing in the lower series improves attendance. Who likes to go to a show where the ending is pre determined? It is my opinion that KB is more ego driven than for any other reason to compete at that level that is evidenced by his setting and broadcasting his lofty goals to dominate the truck and Xfin series.
I would rather see him set his goal to win 200 cup races THAT would be an accomplishment.
Also I don’t buy the comments from Xfinity regulars that they love having Kyle compete against them. Who the hell likes to get their butts kicked and trophy and prize money taken away even if it is only 5 times a year

Tom B

Since when can you make a profit owning a race car team?

David Edwards

Really? If it wasn’t profitable you wouldn’t see new owners coming in. There are a lot of other ways to get a tax write off if that’s all you want. The trick is of course making sure that someone else is paying the bills.

Grace Pappas

He shouldn’t get wins counted to him. Not fair to Xfinity team racing for points, money. No !!!And it’s not fair to the cup drivers they don’t get a chance like Kyle Busch does. Racing in Xfinity. Getting track feel ect. If he is such a fantastic driver I feel that’s cheating. He knows the track cup doesn’t all around he got his 100. Now NASCAR should not let him do it anymore.

STEVE COSENTINO

Sadly I think this is all because its Kyle Busch. I highly doubt there would be the backlash if it was Chase Elliot or Kyle Larson doing it. I doubt when the race starts that 35 drivers have already given up. And again we are talking FIVE races a year. So before you write another article about this ask yourself if you would do it if it was one of the “popular” drivers winning all the Xfinity races they enter. I have a feeling you would not.

Jeremy

On the whole, I think you’re right about how much the “who” piece drives the dialogue. I was a fan of Mark Martin back in the day, but it never set well with me that he (and other successful Cup regulars) would run/win in the Busch series. I always felt NASCAR should put a stipulation that would bar the top tier Cup drivers from running the lower series. Allow the rookies, or those who consistently sit below the top 25 cut – these guys are the ones who need the extra seat time, IMO.

Terry Bennett

I don’t think any nascar drivers should be driving tho late in the year.

STEVE COSENTINO

I hate to reply twice but can’t resist. Remember Kyle Busch also owns multiple teams in the truck series. Brad K and Kevin H had teams but not any more. Kyle is providing rides to 4 drivers each week in truck. 4 drivers who get a chance to showcase what they can do. So let him race.

DoninAjax

Reverend Joe took over the truck teams. Busch didn’t like losing money so he got help from Reverend Joe.

Tom B

Is this really true? I never saw that info in a FS article.

DoninAjax

I found it. You can too. It wasn’t too long after he started the truck team.

jobe

Proof? Source of information? Everything I’ve read states that Kyle and Samantha own KBM.

DoninAjax

Dig deeper!

jobe

If Kyle gets financial help from Joe Gibbs, what does that have to do with the discussion? Nothing. He gets engines and technical help from JGR. Again, irrelevant to the topic. I’m sure JRM gets help from HMS.

DoninAjax

Touchy, aren’t you about Baby Busch. He and Sam want to make money and there is more available with Reverend Joe on board. If he was so benevolent he’d give more opportunities to other drivers and not get in the car. So what if he can make more sponsor $$$$$ if he’s in the car. He should have enough already.

jobe

The sponsorship money Kyle gets when he drives the car keeps him in business to give the other guys rides. Just ask Brad or Kevin how easy it is to keep a team afloat. Kyle’s not running a charitable foundation.

Kyle has developed more Cup drivers than anyone you could name, including one of your HMS choir boys.

DoninAjax

Cup wins: 59 in 590 events – 10 per cent
Busch wins: 101 in 361 events – 28 per cent
Truck wins: 61 in 160 events – 38 per cent

It’s harder for him to get wins in Cup so he goes to the minors to feed his ego.

jobe

Of course, it’s harder to win in Cup. Is that supposed to be a newsflash?

It’s no different than your boy Larson going to the dirt tracks with superior equipment to feed his ego, which seems as overinflated as Rowdy’s. The guy has won 10 Cup races and thinks he is a superstar.

Jeremy

If Larson thinks that it’s because that is what everyone in the broadcast booth is telling him.

DoninAjax

Cars that can win every Cup event they enter:

Truex
Hamlin
Bell
Baby Busch
Larson
Bowman
Byron
Elliott

Do you really think Larson has a better Sprint car than Tony Stewart’s cars or Kasey Kahne’s cars?

jobe

Yes, Baby Larson does have the best equipment. Dirt racing is no different than any other racing discipline – the better the car is and the more a driver does it, the more successful he will be. And Tony also races in dirt cars for his ego. Hell, he even started a new racing series just for his ego.

And I wouldn’t put one-time winner Bell in the category of a guy who can win in Cup every time out. The fact that you didn’t include Harvick, Logano, Blaney or Kes on your list is proof that nobody can win without a fast car and the Fords are not fast this year.

Last edited 25 days ago by jobe
DoninAjax

So you believe its OK for Baby Busch to win in the best equipment but not for Larson in the alleged best equipment?

jobe

I’m saying that if you don’t take Busch’s wins seriously, you shouldn’t take Baby Larson’s wins seriously either. I’m just asking you to be consistent, not just a Hendrick ass-kisser.

Jeremy

I bet he’d be able to win 50% in ARCA!

Bob

All I can say is that every time cup drivers run the lower series they take money away from the owners.

Also it’s like a college football team going down to play a high school team.

jobe

Since Kyle runs a 4th car for JGR and brings in sponsorship money and his winnings to his team owner, how is he taking money from the team owner? The #54 car runs in every race even though Kyle only gets 5 starts. So, is your problem with Kyle Busch or the JGR #54, which is always competitive?

DoninAjax

More than one driver has won in the 54, so they’re as good as Baby Busch.

jobe

You argue out of both sides of your mouth, Don. First you say that it isn’t fair for such an experienced and accomplished driver to drive in NXS. Then you say that he really isn’t that good. You simply hate Busch because he is the only one can beat the Fat Felon.

DoninAjax

Read what I write. I wrote the other drivers that win in the car are as good as he is.

jobe

You’re just in love with the Fat Felon.

And Kyle has won 59 Cup races and two championships by being lucky? Get over your envy.

Last edited 26 days ago by jobe
jobe

You argue out of both sides of your mouth, Don. First you say that it isn’t fair for such an experienced and accomplished driver to drive in NXS. Then you say that he really isn’t that good. You simply hate Busch because he is the only one can beat the Fat Felon.

Robert Snow

Kyle Bush is probably one of the best talents in NASCAR that we have seen in a long time . I personally don’t like his attitude but that’s who he is . There very few other drivers that run in the Xfinity series and my thought is it should be used for up and coming young drivers or those drivers that don’t have the willingness or talent to run the top series . He originally said it would be beneficial for him to run and give the younger drivers help in their quest to gain entrance into the top tier . His driving in the truck series and the Exfinity series is just an ego trip for him to win all he can . So yo ad to my long spiel I say if he wants to be an owner for these other series fine but he should be limited to the Cup Series only !!

Delbertfahrner

Yes I think he should he only runs 5 that’s the 5 I watch

Sue Brown Collins

I don’t care who you are. You race either the Trucks. Xfinity or Cup, not all of them. When these Cup race car drivers drive in the Xfinity or Truck races it is unfair and should not be allowed. It makes me think of them as bullies. How can it be fair to the teams with the limited resources and expense account?

Rob

In order to make the playoffs you need points in stages and or finishing position and can automatically be in the playoffs with a win! Only takes one win! Kyle Busch destroys all of the above in every race he is in for numerous drivers who are working hard to become known and develope so they can move up! It’s like Jimmy Johnson racing go carts and bragging that he has won 100 cause he in so many of them. Not right period

Terry Bennett

I agree it’s for young drivers development not for some punk with unlimited resources that can buy the best parts and crew members. This series doesn’t need his arrogant but running every week

Jim

If your favorite cup driver was racing in trucks, xfinity, and local late model races, you would want him in every race at the tracks.. YOU just hate Kyle!!

Jon M

Cup drivers should not be allowed into Xfinity or truck races.. period. It takes away more chances for drivers who need a win to make the playoffs

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