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Head2Head: Bigger Busch accomplishment this weekend?

March 21, 2011, ,

This past weekend at Bristol was another resume builder for Kyle Busch. On Saturday, he led his 10,000th lap in the Nationwide Series en route to the victory and on Sunday he cruised to Victory Lane once again, giving him a second consecutive weekend sweep at the World's Fastest Half-Mile.

Bigger feat: leading 10,000 Nationwide laps or a second Bristol sweep?


Take nothing away from Kyle Busch and his dominance at Bristol -- because it's flat out amazing. But the bigger achievement for me wasn't the weekend sweep, it was his mark that will stand the test of time in the Nationwide Series.

The Nationwide Series has been around since 1982 and has seen thousands of drivers during that time, yet in just 206 starts, Busch has led more than 10,000 laps and shows no signs of slowing.

To put this in perspective, only two other drivers have led more than half of what Busch has, and both of them have raced in more events. Mark Martin (8,083 in 232 starts) and Kevin Harvick (6,977 in 267 events) are the only ones to hit the 5,000 mark, let alone 10,000.

And unlike his sweeps at Bristol, Busch's dominance isn't limited to one style of track. Busch has led laps at 28 of the 31 tracks at which he's made Nationwide starts and has led more than 100 laps at 20 of those. The kid is just flat out dominant each and every week; it doesn't matter where he is running.

At just 25, the laps led number is just going to get bigger and bigger. There's no reason to think he won't hit 20,000 before all is said and done. Busch's Nationwide laps led mark can go down next to Richard Petty's 200 wins in the Cup Series -- they won't ever be touched.

Weekend sweeps are nice, but continued dominance across a series is more impressive in my eyes.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Any achievement in motorsports that involves winning races is significant because one fact cannot be minimized: Everyone that's competing -- and that's "competing" versus "just being there" -- is trying to win.

Being competitive is the first step in establishing a winning program. With a competitive program comes leading laps. Consistently leading laps, marked by Kyle Busch's significant plateau of leading 10,000 Nationwide Series laps, is a noteworthy resume-builder.

But there's no question that, since completing the task, and winning the race, is the ultimate accomplishment, Busch sweeping five consecutive national series races the past two NASCAR weekends at Bristol is infinitely more impressive than leading even 100,000 Nationwide Series laps would be.

Winning consecutive Cup races at any venue is no mean feat. Cup competitors, though in lesser numbers as you drop down the series' levels, have an intense impact on both the Nationwide and Truck series. Beating them all, plus the best in the respective series, is huge.

Leave it to Carl Edwards, one of Busch's fiercest competitors, to perhaps put it in perspective.

"That's a pretty big feat," Edwards said. "That's a good weekend right there and to put two back-to-back like that is pretty amazing."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

But which accomplishment was a bigger deal? Bill Kimm and Dave Rodman have their thoughts, read theirs and weigh in with yours in the comments below. And don't forget to vote for who you agree with more in the poll at the right.