Off to best career start, Kyle Busch still searching for first win in 2016

By David Morgan, NASCAR Writer

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Auto Club Speedway this weekend for the Auto Club 400, four different drivers have made their way to victory lane in the first four races of the season, but one familiar face has yet to win in the Cup Series, despite his domination in the Xfinity Series thus far in 2016. Of course, the driver I’m referring to is the defending Sprint Cup champion, Kyle Busch.

Through the first four races, Busch has been in the hunt for his first win of the season, scoring two top-three finishes and two top-four finishes for an average finish of 3.5, yet he has not been able to pull his No. 18 Toyota into victory lane.

“Yes and no. You could be happy with top-five and you could be happy with running up front and doing those things. Those are the things you’re supposed to do, but ultimately we’ve got to get to victory lane. We’re close. We’ll see if we can hit one here on the west coast swing, maybe next week in California, and put ourselves in,” Busch said when asked if he was happy how his season has started.

While some would find it odd that Busch has not been able to capture a win, when we take a glimpse at his season starts throughout his career, one thing that has always been true is that Busch doesn’t usually win until at least race five of the season, which comes this weekend.

Of his 14 seasons of competition in the Cup Series, he has only been able to win prior to race five on three occasions (2008, 2009, and 2011), so when we look at it that way, Busch is just keeping with his normal start to the season in the 2016 campaign. The one thing Busch has going for him this season is that he is off to his best start ever without a win and there is no doubt that the win will come sooner than later.

Busch could very well accomplish that this weekend in California, at a track that he has done very well at over the years. In 17 starts at Auto Club Speedway, Busch has three wins (2005, 2013, and 2014), eight top-five finishes, 12 top-10 finishes, one pole, 604 laps led, and an average finish of 10.1. Busch has especially been rock solid at the track in his last four starts, finishing no lower than third in any of the four races.

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.

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