Kyle Busch steals Bristol thunder -- again

March, 22, 2011

There's never any shortage of storylines coming out of Bristol. It's one thing you can always count on, and an excellent reason why we need more short tracks, or just a dozen more Bristols, on the schedule.

There's still a lot of chatter about the racing at the reconfigured Bristol Motor Speedway. Multiple green-flag runs of about 100 laps in Thunder Valley? Unheard of!

Or we could get into the mess between Jennifer Jo Cobb and 2nd Chance Motorsports and owner Rick Russell. My blog's supposed to be about 500 words, but I went to my editor and said I refused to do anything less than 1,000. Then he threatened to take the wheels off my chair. (I'll probably still write close to 600 -- I always do).

No, I want to talk about winners, focusing on the man who won all the races last weekend, one Kyle Busch. Some people have a trophy room; he has a trophy block, or perhaps a whole neighborhood.

Winning personality

There's no hiding the fact that Kyle Busch wins. A lot. Sunday marked his 20th career Sprint Cup Series win, and he's just the 34th driver in series history to reach that mark.

All 20 of those wins came at the age of 25 or younger. And according to NASCAR's Sultan of Stats, Mike Forde, only two drivers won more at age 25 or younger: Jeff Gordon (26) and Richard Petty (22). Good company to keep.

Even more impressive goodness: It was Busch's 90th win across the three major NASCAR national series. He became just the sixth driver to reach that mark, joining Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip and Mark Martin.

I mentioned in my chat the other day how important different stats are, and this is one of them. Only 22 percent of Busch's wins are Cup wins. Forty-one percent of Martin's wins are in Cup, while the other four drivers' Cup wins are all over 75 percent.

Trivia break! Who is the only other driver with double-digit wins in all three series?

How sweep it is

That was the fifth time Busch swept the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races in the same weekend, according to our friends over at Racing Resources.

That's tied for the most among any driver, along with Carl Edwards. Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin are the only ones to do it four times. And only Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have done it three times.

Trivia break! Who was the last driver other than Kyle Busch to win a NASCAR race at Bristol?

Taking the lead

Let me tell you about domination. Kyle Busch has led 69.4 percent of the total laps run in the Nationwide Series this season. Furthermore, he's led 75.9 percent of the total laps he's run.

The series record for highest percentage of laps raced that a driver has led in a season is 78.2 percent by Tony Stewart in 2003. But Stewart ran only one race that season.

Busch set the laps-led record for a driver running 20 or more races in a season with 41.7 percent in 2009, when he ran the full 35-race schedule. He's blowing that away in 2011.

He's led 569 laps this season, already the 74th-most led in a Nationwide season since 1984, when the series started tracking laps led.

Trivia break! Who holds the record for laps led in a season?

Trivia break answers

1. Greg Biffle is the only other driver with 10-plus wins in all three series.

2. Jimmie Johnson was the last driver besides Busch to win at Bristol.

3. Not surprisingly, Busch led 2,695 laps in 2009 when he won the Nationwide Series title.



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