Kyle Busch: "You want to race the best of the best" for Cup title

Kyle Busch says he prefers to race “best of the best” when competing for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title and he presumably has gotten his wish.

Kyle Busch: "You want to race the best of the best" for Cup title
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's celebrates his win with a burnout
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's celebrates
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Jimmy John's celebrates his win
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Mobil 1, celebrates in Victory Lane
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry Auto-Owners Insurance celebrates his win with a burnout
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Toyota Camry 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops celebrates in victory lane
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil, celebrates
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil, celebrates
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's

When the dust settled Sunday at Phoenix, the “Big 3” of Kevin Harvick, Busch and Martin Truex Jr. – which had dominated the series all season – found themselves locked in to compete for this year’s championship at Homestead, Fla.

Joining those three will be Joey Logano, who earned his way into the Championship 4 by virtue of his win at Martinsville, Va.

“Yeah, you want to race the best of the best, so you know, it's the best that are there and that we all probably thought would make the final four,” Busch said Sunday after winning the race at Phoenix.

“And you know, there was obviously a lot of back-and-forths as to who could and what happens in this scenario and that scenario, but lo and behold, it all points to the top four guys.”

While Logano, with two wins on the year, was never part of the “Big 3” combination during the season he has developed into one of the top performers as the playoffs have progressed.

“The strength of the season has kind of been the top three guys, the best three, which has been (Harvick), us and (Truex) and (Logano). The. No. 22 (Logano) has been solid. He’s been consistent, and he’s been good, especially these last nine weeks, eight weeks, I guess,” Busch said.

“He’s kind of been the top scorer. He was in the first at weeks of the season, as well, too. He had a good run there. So, I think that this is a good group of four that we’re going to race for a championship with.”

Statistics certainly bear out Busch’s contention.

Top performers

So far through nine playoff races, Logano has scored more points than any other driver (343). Kevin is second, Truex third and Busch fourth.

Harvick has led the most laps during the entire season (1,932), followed by Busch, Truex and Logano.

Busch has the best average finish (8.4), followed by Harvick, Logano and Truex.

Harvick has the most top-five finishes (22), followed by Busch, Truex and Logano (who is tied with Kyle Larson).

Busch also said he would not be at all surprised that at some point in this weekend’s championship race, the four title contenders will be running first, second, third and fourth.

“It’s happened every single time these last four years that I’ve been in the playoff race at Homestead, that all of us have been around one another at one point or another in the race,” he said.

“The long green flag runs tend to separate you a little bit more. I remember the year that I won (2015), Jeff Gordon was out there and we were all top four, top-five riding around one another, whatever, and over the course of that long green flag run that we had, I think Jeff kind of faded and fell back to like eighth or ninth or something like that. 

“Those are the times in which yourself and your team and your car and everything kind of brings itself to the forefront. That’ll kind of change the name of the game for who’s got it and who doesn’t.”

shares
comments
5 questions with Barney Visser as he prepares his NASCAR exit

Previous article

5 questions with Barney Visser as he prepares his NASCAR exit

Next article

How David Pearson became one of NASCAR’s legends

How David Pearson became one of NASCAR’s legends
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021