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Too Much of a Good Thing?

Thursday, June 5, 2008


This weekend, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch will make history by competing in three different series on three different tracks, all on the same weekend. His itinerary will take him to Pocono Raceway, Nashville Superspeedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
Pocono to Texas to Pocono to Nashville and back to Pocono
Courtesy of NASCAR

Busch has already won 10 races across NASCAR’s three national series – four wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and two in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Busch, the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will attempt a NASCAR first – racing in three national series, at three different tracks, in the same weekend.

His busy itinerary will take him to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, Nashville Superspeedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Pocono Raceway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event.

The next question – can he be the first to sweep all three races in the same weekend?

If Busch did win all three, he’d be the first to do so – period.  It’s never been done at the same track on a companion weekend, let alone three different tracks.

Kyle Busch tries the ultimate "Combo" this weekend, but when is it too much of a good thing?
Courtesy of Toyota Motorsports

The driver to come the closest – Kyle Busch, himself. Last season, during the November Phoenix weekend, Busch won both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race and the NASCAR Nationwide race, and finished eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

There’s certainly a chance. Across the three series, Busch has run 33 races. He has been in first place at some point in the race during 28 of them (though he’s led a lap in 26 of them)

Busch ranks in the top 10 in all key statistical categories in each series:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Category                Stat (Rank)
Avg. Running Pos.    7.8 (1st)
Driver Rating            115.2 (1st)
Fastest Laps Run    351 (2nd)
Laps in the Top 15% 81.9% (1st)
Quality Passes        632 (5th)

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Category                Stat (Rank)
Avg. Running Pos.    10.9 (4th)
Driver Rating            110.9 (1st)
Fastest Laps Run    398 (1st)
Laps in the Top 15% 68.4% (7th)
Quality Passes        349 (T 6th)

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Category                Stat (Rank)
Avg. Running Pos.    6.8 (1st)
Driver Rating            124.9 (1st)
Fastest Laps Run    213 (1st)
Laps in the Top 15% 85.2% (1st)
Quality Passes        172 (6th)

Across the three series, Busch has a Driver Rating of 117.0. Combining the second-place ratings for each series – which belong to Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer and Ron Hornaday Jr. – the Driver Rating would be 107.2, almost 10 points lower than Busch alone.

One problem, Busch has not enjoyed the best of success at the tracks he’ll race this weekend – he does not have a series win at any of them. Below are his race logs at each track since 2005:

Busch at Pocono in the NSCS (2005-2007)
Date      Finish      ARP      FLR      LT15%      DR
6/05            4      13.6          3        59.7%      96.8
7/05          39      18.0          0        57.6%      71.5
6/06          22      12.3          3        83.0%        85.8
7/06          12      22.8          1        34.0%        83.6
6/07            8        6.8          1        96.2%      106.8
8/07          12      21.4          8        20.0%        77.2
Total        16.2    15.8        16        55.2%        87.0
ARP: Average Running Position
FLR: Fastest Laps Run
LT15%: Percentage of Laps in the Top 15
DR: Driver Rating

Busch at Nashville in the NNS (2006-2007)
Date      Finish      ARP      FLR      LT15%      DR
4/06          30        13.6        2        64%          80.1
6/06          31        29.5        1          0.4%        53.2
3/08          16          6.3      68        73.3%      128.6
Total        25.7      16.5      71        45.9%        87.3

Busch at Texas in the NCTS (2005-2007)
Date      Finish      ARP      FLR      LT15%      DR
11/05          3            3.2    13        98.6%      122.6
11/06          2            6.5      5        99.3%      113
11/07        29          16.5      18        46.3%      108.7
Total        11.3          8.7      36        81.3%        114.8

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