Kyle Busch won his second career NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2019.
Busch won five times this season including the championship-clinching race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His win in the Ford EcoBoost 400 gave Busch a second title to go along with his 2015 championship. Busch became the first driver to win two championships under the elimination-style Playoffs that debuted in 2014. He has 27 top-fives, 27 top-10’s and also captured the regular season championship on his way to the overall title.
“I don’t even know quite yet how to put it all into perspective or into words, but it certainly is an amazing opportunity, and it’s pretty special,” Busch said after taking the crown.
“Just with everything that (team owner) Joe (Gibbs) had talked about and had mentioned from the start of the season and losing J.D. (Gibbs) and all that sort of stuff, but then to have the beginning part of the season that we had and then to kind of lose whatever we lost through the last third, but to save the best for last and to come into here and score the win and score the championship is what it’s all about.”
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Busch won four times early in the season and was vocal about the challenges of new rules package that impacted how this year’s Cup cars handled on track. After winning at Pocono in early June, he went through a stretch without a return to Victory Lane for 21 races. He was finally able to snap that drought with his Homestead win, which brought with it a second Cup championship.
Busch now has 208 NASCAR national series wins. He scored his 200th win in the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway back in March.
His five wins were part of the 19 overall the JGR team scored in 2019 and Busch does not take likely the strength of his organization and the people around him.
“I think that — think it’s the group of drivers, as well, though, too,” Busch said. “When we had our team meetings with myself and (Matt) Kenseth and Carl (Edwards) and Denny (Hamlin), they knew the group of drivers that we had, and if we weren’t successful, they knew it was because the stuff that we’re driving around the racetrack.
“And so I think the same is to be said for the Kyle, the Denny (Hamlin) and the Martin (Truex Jr.), and (Erik) Jones, too, because the better you make the stuff for us three, the better it’s going to make Jones, as well, too.”
Busch won his first title in 2015 after missing 11 races due to injury. He was granted a waiver by NASCAR and was able to win a race in the regular season as well as maintain a spot above 30th in the standings to qualify for the playoffs. He went on to win the Homestead finale to capture the championship.
Now that he is a two-time champion, Busch believes it only adds to his resume the more championships he can continue to add over the remainder of his career.
“I would like to think that any time you’re able to win more races and more championships that it helps your stature and helps you become — I don’t know what it helps you become, I guess,” he said. “More successful. But it’s all about just doing our job to me.
“I would love to be sitting here right now talking about eight. I’ve been in the sport for 14, 15 years, whatever this season is for me, and so we’re only talking about two. It’s nice to have the success that we have, take it when you get it, but there’s certainly a few missed opportunities for sure.”
2019 Driver Season Reviews