Kyle Busch gets his first opportunity to claim his 100th NASCAR Xfinity Series win on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).
Nashville was where Busch earned his 25th Xfinity win on June 6, 2009. He celebrated by smashing the guitar trophy painted by the late artist Sam Bass, a moment that’s gone down in history (and was relived in the local newspaper this week).
Busch, the two-time Cup Series champion, had said several times before that he’d quit the Xfinity Series upon reaching his 100th win.
But following his 99th win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, he revealed that team owner Joe Gibbs has scheduled him for more Xfinity races next season.
We don’t know how many Xfinity wins that Kyle Busch will have when it’s all said and done. But we do know there’s been some memorable triumphs among the 99 he has already.
May 14, 2004 – Win No. 1, Richmond Raceway
Driving for Hendrick Motorsports in his first full Xfinity season, Busch claimed his first series win in emphatic fashion. He led 236 of 250 laps but had to hold off Greg Biffle in a three-lap dash to the checkered flag.
In Victory Lane, Busch – then 19 years old – declared his No. 5 car as “the best car (he’d) ever driven in (his) entire life.”
As for Biffle, then a sophomore in the Cup Series, he wanted to keep the final laps clean. “I could’ve got to his bumper, but I figured I’d let him go,” he said.
April 5, 2008 – Win No. 12, Texas Motor Speedway
After spending his first three Cup seasons with Hendrick, Busch jumped to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008. That March at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he earned his first Cup win with JGR and the first Cup win for Toyota.
Almost a month later, Busch notched his first Xfinity win with JGR at Texas Motor Speedway and the 12th Xfinity win of his career. He started the race 31st but still led 126 of 200 laps on his way to the victory.
It was Busch’s first of 10 Xfinity wins that season – the first of four seasons he earned double-digit wins in the series.
Sept. 25, 2010 – Win No. 41, Dover International Speedway
Busch claimed one of the Xfinity Series’ biggest records for himself in this race.
He led all but eight of 200 laps in claiming his 11th win of the 2010 season. That broke a tie with late two-time Xfinity champion Sam Ard for most wins in a single season. Ard claimed 10 wins in his run to the 1983 series title.
“It’s very special,” Busch said about the record. “Sam is a great individual and was a great driver in his time. For myself to be able to come out and compete at that level and get as many wins in a season is hard enough to do, but then to go out there and beat a record …
“From where Sam Ard was in his day and where we are today, I feel like a lot has changed in this sport, and, of course, it’s always challenging to go out and get a win on a given weekend. But for us to win 11 this year is very, very special to me, and that’s why I say it’s so special to (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and to all these guys on the team, because they’re all part of it.”
Busch went on to claim 13 wins by season’s end.
Aug. 26, 2011 – Win No. 50, Bristol Motor Speedway
It all came down to a bumper between Busch and Joey Logano (then teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing) in the Aug. 2011 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
But it was Busch who had just enough momentum on the outside to edge Logano by .019 of a second at the checkered flag.
And in doing so, Busch earned his 50th series win and eclipsed NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin as the winningest driver in series history.
“There’s an awful lot of accomplishments, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where they fall,” Busch said at the time. “Certainly, this is a pretty big one. Just being able to race that hard, and race against a teammate like that, knowing he had just as good as stuff as I did.”
July 27, 2013 – Win No. 59, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Busch claimed his first NASCAR victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the July 2013 Xfinity race.
Busch led 92 of 100 laps, but everything almost went awry for him on the day’s final restart with six laps to go. As he and Logano went up the track in Turn 1, Brian Scott passed them both on the inside to take the lead.
But Busch quickly retook second from Logano and went to work pressuring Scott. Then, with three laps to go, Busch got under Scott in Turn 1 and passed him for the lead.
As Scott did all he could to hang on to second, Busch pulled away to win by more than two seconds.
“For as many race cars that have been on this surface, the yard of bricks is pretty cool,” said Busch about the victory.
Busch went on to earn three more Xfinity wins, as well as 2015 and 2016 Brickyard 400 victories, on the legendary Indy oval. This season, the Cup Series will join the Xfinity Series in racing on the IMS road course.