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Head2Head: Would Busch's 200 victories compare to Petty's?

July 11, 2011, , NASCAR.com

At Kentucky Speedway, Kyle Busch grabbed wins No. 98 and 99 with victories in the Truck Series race last Thursday and the Cup Series race last Sunday. Busch is now one victory away from reaching 100 national series victories, halfway to Busch's career goal of 200, which just happens to be the number of Cup Series races Richard Petty won.

Will Busch's 200 wins compare to Petty's 200?

YES NO

Kyle Busch is a baby-step from reaching the halfway point in what he's called a major goal of his career: 200 national series victories.

Given his schedule the next three weeks, including two Cup races and probably a Nationwide Series event at New Hampshire -- even if he doesn't compete in Nationwide events at Nashville or Indianapolis -- he could have 100 wins before August.

So that begs the question: Where does that accomplishment place Busch against the heretofore unquestioned mark of stock car supremacy, Richard Petty's 200 victories in NASCAR's premier series?

Petty himself looks down his nose, calling victories in anything but the current Sprint Cup Series, "minor league." That might've been a valid point when Petty was winning against a fairly shallow pool, if not in pure talent, then definitely in top-notch equipment.

What Busch has done in sometimes zig-zagging the continent to compete is no different than what Petty did, back when the Cup Series raced only days apart at varied venues.

But the competition level that Busch competes against, not only in Cup but also Nationwide and the Truck Series -- and the multiple championships he's been a part of in the latter divisions -- surely puts his accomplishments on a par.

Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Take nothing away from Kyle Busch, because 100 victories before the age of 29 is flat-out impressive. He should be complimented on such an impressive feat. But, if Busch is able to get to 200 national series victories -- and I suspect he will -- it just doesn't compare to what Richard Petty accomplished in his 35-year career.

First, more than three-quarters of Busch's wins have come in Nationwide (48) and Truck (29). Just 22 of the 99 have come in NASCAR's top series, and to say the competition level is on par with what Petty faced is crazy. Petty raced a who's who of Hall of Famers in the '60s, '70s and '80s while Busch faces maybe a half dozen who are legitimate threats to win in Nationwide and Truck.

In fact, there is another driver who is one away from a milestone -- Jeff Gordon and 85 Cup wins -- and I'd argue that Gordon's number is more impressive than Busch hitting 100. At 22, I'm not sure Busch is going to hit 50, let alone 85.

Again, take nothing away from Busch because he's doing exactly what he is supposed to be doing -- winning races. You won't hear me criticize his accomplishment at all. But to compare it to Petty's 200 is insane. There is no comparison. Bottom line, Petty's wins were in all one series -- and that mark is untouchable. Busch's is impressive, but it's no Petty.

Bill Kimm, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

At 26, it appears Busch is well on his way of hitting 200 national series victories, something only two other drivers have done: Petty and David Pearson. It's an impressive feat, without question, but if Busch hits 200 wins, how does it compare to Petty's mark, achieved in just one series? Dave Rodman and Bill Kimm have their thoughts. Read theirs and weigh in with your own in the comments below. And don't forget to vote in the poll at the right.