Candyman Kyle Busch Dominates To Win The First Inaugural Circuit Of The Americas Race At Austin For His 98th Xfinity Series Win

#54 Kyle Busch in Skittles Toyota Supra
Image Source: TobyChristie

Kyle Busch's 2021 Xfinity Series Campaign

Kyle Busch has always had success in NASCAR's Xfinity Series. The 2009 Xfinity Series Champion also has two NASCAR Cup Series Championships, his most recent in 2019. While 2020 was a hard year for Kyle Busch, in terms of wins, he has not slowed down in the Xfinity Series at all.

Since Kyle Busch often competes in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, it was no surprise to see him at NASCAR's first trip to the road course in Austin, Texas, known as Circuit Of The Americas. He has racked up road course wins across both series, and was a favorite for this Xfinity Series race. Kyle Busch led 35 of 46 laps to win the race in his Skittles #54 Toyota Supra.

On Saturday, May 22, Kyle Busch took home the checkered flag at Circuit Of The Americas at Austin, Texas. This was his 98th win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he is the all-time wins leader.

Though fellow Cup driver and 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kevin Harvick were in the field as well, Kyle dominated the race for the win. The Cup Series 2014 Watkins Glenn winner AJ Allmendinger, known as a "road-course ringer" also put up a fight in his Kaulig Racing #16. 

Kyle Busch racing in Austin, Texas
Image Source: Frontstretch

Kyle Busch's History With Joe Gibbs Racing In The Xfinity Series

Kyle Busch won the 2009 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship with Joe Gibbs Racing and has won the large majority of his 98 Xfinity Series wins with this Toyota team. In the past, Kyle Busch has taken criticism for "Busch-whacking" in the lower NASCAR Series. Fans say Kyle Busch is an unfair entry in a series that usually features rookies and up-and-coming stars.

Rules have been put in place to limit the amount of Xfinity Series races that Cup Series regulars may enter. This has not slowed Busch down too much, as the last five years have netted him more wins than any other driver. 

Kyle Busch does not own any Xfinity Series cars. His Camping World Truck Series team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, or KBM for short, has had much success. In 2012, KBM fielded a Monster Energy Toyota Camry with his brother Kurt Busch as a fellow driver. Kyle has stepped back and focused his owner energies on the truck series. Joe Gibbs has some of the best equipment in the business with Toyota Racing and so the combination of TRD and Kyle Busch is pretty much unstoppable.

All time wins leader Kyle Busch in 2012
Image Source: The Final Lap Weekly

Kyle Busch's 2021 Xfinity Series Schedule

Kyle Busch is competing in 5 Xfinity Series races in 2021. This includes 2 road courses, COTA and Road America. In addition to those, he will also race in Atlanta, Nashville, and Texas. Below is Kyle Busch's official 2021 schedule:

  • Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 @ Circuit Of The Americas Austin - won.
  • Saturday, June 12, 2021 @ Texas 4:00 PM EST
  • Saturday, June 19, 2021 @ Nashville 3:30 PM EST
  • Saturday, July 3, 2021 @ Road America 2:30 PM EST
  • Saturday July 10, 2021 @ Atlanta 3:00 PM EST
Exhaust flames from Kyle Busch's #54 Toyota Supra
Image Source: Texas Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch 2021 Sponsors

Kyle Busch has a very strong relationship with sponsor Mars Chocolate with their M&M's sponsorship. For Circuit Of The Americas, Kyle was sponsored by Skittles. Known as the Candyman for his sugary sponsors, Kyle is also using various other sponsors for his 2021 Xfinity Series campaign.

The #54 Toyota Supra will run with a variety of different drivers including newcomer Ty Gibbs, who is Joe Gibb's grandson. Ty Dillon will be driving as well, and they will be sponsored by Monster Energy and Stanley Tools, respectively. Other sponsors are to be announced.

Kyle Busch wins in Camping World Truck Series
Image Source: NBC

Kyle Busch's 2021 Camping World Truck Series Schedule

Kyle Busch owns and operates, as well as drives for, his own Truck Series team, Kyle Busch Motorsports, or KBM for short. He has had much success as an owner/driver with two wins already this season. He is sponsored by Cessna and Toyota Racing Development. Utilizing Joe Gibb's engines, the Truck team has won two championships, 85 races, and 60 poles.

Success has come easy for Kyle Bush in the Camping World Truck Series, and he frequently uses the Friday races to build momentum into the Saturday Xfinity Series races. This gives him a valuable seat team for his Sunday Cup Series race. Kyle Busch is the only driver in history to sweep all three races in one weekend, having done so at Bristol Motor Speedway twice, once in 2010 and again in 2017.

By 2021, Kyle Busch will compete in 5 Truck Series races. This is Kyle Busch's 2021 Camping World Truck Series schedule:

  • Friday, March 5, 2021, @ Las Vegas - finished 2nd.
  • Saturday, March 20, 2021, @ Atlanta - won race.
  • Saturday, April 17, 2021, @ Richmond - finished 2nd.
  • Saturday, May 1, 2021, @ Kansas - won the race.
2021 Xfinity Series at COTA- Austin, Texas
Image Source: Austin American

Kyle Busch's 2015 Leg Injury Flares Up Prior To Green Flag

When the Xfinity Series came to Dayonta in February 2015, Kyle Busch suffered a severe injury. With eight laps to go in the Xfinity race, Kyle was involved in a multi-car crash that saw him careen into the wall and break his right leg and his left foot. He took a 3-month hiatus and then returned to eventually win the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. 

Prior to the Xfinity Series race at COTA, Kyle Busch complained of aches and pains in the formerly injured area of his feet. The road courses are much harder on drivers because of the shifting and additional turns. Indeed, Kyle Busch accomplished something impressive with his win here.

What Is Circuit Of The Americas At Austin, Texas Like?

The 2021 NASCAR schedule features seven road courses this year, many more than previous years. This allows drivers like Kyle Busch, who has had success on these tracks, to take advantage of the schedule. This is the first time NASCAR has come to Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

The 3.4-mile road course was opened eight years ago and is featured in F1 racing as well as MotoGP. Everyone was excited to see the NASCAR stock cars on this new road course, and this Xfinity Series race was a support race to Sunday's Texas Grand Prix in the Cup Series.

COTA is a fast track with 20 turns. Bragging rights were on the line as well as history as the inaugural winner will always be remembered. Road courses are the only tracks in which NASCAR turns right. When it rains on regular oval courses, NASCAR will throw the caution flag, but on road courses, they use special-Goodyear treaded rain tires which make for great moments.

Kyle Busch Wins at Kansas in NASCAR Cup Series 2021 

Kyle Busch has always been a dominant force in the NASCAR Cup Series, where he has 58 wins and is 9th on the all-time wins list. He had some poor performance last year, with only one win. 

As a result, he has taken this year to put more emphasis on winning. He is back to his old ways and won at Kansas in his #18 M&M's Mix Toyota Camry.  He won the Truck Series race the Friday before, and it definitely carried over into his Sunday victory at the track.

A win this early in the season is a good sign for Busch. It took him until the final months of the season last year to net his win at Texas. Consequently, look for Kyle Buch to make a return to his old winning ways.

Kyle Busch celebrates win at Kansas 2021
Image Source: West Central Tribune

Kyle Busch Leads 12 Laps in Cup Series COTA Race, Loses to Chase Elliott

Kyle Busch looked great this Sunday at COTA in his #18 M&M's Mix Toyota Camry. He led 12 laps and appeared to be the top contender to beat. However, due to a late-race pit stop, he ended up behind Chase Elliott with about 20 laps to go.

The weather took a turn for the worse, and even though this entire race was broadcast during the rain, truly inclement weather was on its way to Echo Park, Texas. It was disappointing for the #18 team, as they had worked really hard to keep the lead and attack the track aggressively, which is something "Wild Thing" Kyle Busch is known for. 

With the race being called by NASCAR officials to end under caution, Chase Elliott took home the race-shortened win. We did not get to see the final showdown between him and Busch, but it is no shock considering the danger of rain races. Chase Elliot has now won 5 of the last 6 road course races. Chase also won both road course races in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Kyle Busch eventually finished 10th in the road course race at COTA. Of his finish, Busch said, "It’s all discretion, it’s all a discretion call on how much rain is too much rain." 

Chase has proved himself a force to be reckoned with on the road, and so has his team Hendrick Motorsports. High performances from Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman, who won Dover last week, proved how efficient the Hendrick cars have been the last few weeks.

Kyle Busch leads COTA race in Cup Series
Image Source: Heavy
Joseph Poulos is a freelance writer from Michigan.

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