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December 12, 2023

Kyle Busch 2023 season in review

Kyle Busch stands on pit road looking into the distance at Phoenix Raceway wearing a black hat and orange-tinted sunglasses.
Sean Gardner
Getty Images

Editor’s note: This continues a series where we review the top 20 drivers in 2023 NASCAR Cup Series points.

Season in review: Kyle Busch
No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Crew Chief: Randall Burnett
Final 2023 Ranking: 14th
Key stats: 3 wins, 10 top fives, 17 top 10s, 241 laps led

How 2023 ended: Busch made the move to Richard Childress Racing in 2023 after a 15-year tenure with Joe Gibbs Racing. It was somewhat of a career revitalization for Busch, who won three times, his most wins since taking the checkered flag five times in 2019. Unfortunately, Busch failed to advance past the second round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and finished 14th overall, the second-lowest finish of his Cup career.

Best race: While his wins at Fontana and Talladega were noteworthy, none of his three victories was more dominating than his triumph at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Busch led half of the 243-lap event with a season-best 121 laps at the front of the pack.

RELATED: Kyle Busch holds off field, wins in overtime at St. Louis

Other season highlights: Busch started the season in strong form, winning three of the first 15 races (Fontana, Talladega-1 and Gateway). Unfortunately, he failed to reach Victory Lane again after that. But he still managed to record six of his 10 top-five finishes following the win at Gateway. Additionally, Busch has won at least one race in each of his 19 full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Stat to Know: Busch led the fewest laps in a season (241) in his Cup career in 2023. … His 25 finishes on the lead lap were the fewest for him since 2015 (even though he wound up winning his first of two Cup championships that season).

Quotable: “The thing you want to be able to do is to be well-liked when you retire. I know right now I’m not close to retiring and I’m not close to being liked.”

RELATED: Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon strive for improvement with RCR in 2024 Cup season

Looking ahead: Busch and crew chief Randall Burnett formed a strong 1-2 punch in their first season of working together. They can only get stronger together in their second campaign in 2024. We can easily see Busch make it to the Round of 8, if not all the way to the Championship 4, with a decent chance at earning his third career Cup title.