Kyle Busch at 100 Wins Is Still Not an Elite Driver When Compared to Others

DJ Bumgarner@DJBumgarnerContributor IIIJuly 17, 2011

Kyle celebrates 100 NASCAR victories
Kyle celebrates 100 NASCAR victoriesChris Trotman/Getty Images

It's been a little over 24 hours since Kyle Busch won his 100th NASCAR race. I, like many others, do not agree with the constant media praising of Kyle's accomplishment. Now don't get me wrong, it's a big deal to win 100 races, but it's being blow way out of proportion.

Kyle is primarily a Sprint Cup driver, and that's what we should be focusing on. Richard Petty won his races in what would become the Sprint Cup Series, yet we hear about Kyle reaching 100. The fact is that over half of Kyle's victories have came in the Nationwide and Truck Series.

Kyle is now being hyped up to being one of the greatest of all time. While I can't deny his talent, when you look at Kyle's accomplishments in Cup compared to others, he's not as great as we are led to believe.

Kyle has been racing full time in the Sprint Cup series since 2005, which is six-and-a-half full seasons of Cup experience under his belt. During that time, Kyle has won a total of 22 Sprint Cup races, and his highest points finish came in 2007 when he finished fifth.

Let's take a look at other drivers' statistics over their first six-and-a-half seasons of Cup racing.

Jeff Gordon started racing full time in the Cup series in 1994, and by the time he finished his sixth full-time season, Jeff had done the following: 49 Sprint Cup Victories and three Winston Cup Championships.

Jeff's lowest points finish during those six years was eighth in 1994.

Now, let's take Jimmie Johnson for example. Jimmie started racing full time in the Cup series in 2002. He had 33 Sprint Cup victories and two Sprint Cup championships.

Jimmie's lowest points finish during those six years was fifth in both 2002 and 2005.

Now, let's take seven-time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt. Dale started running full time in the Cup series in 1980, however he did win a Cup race in 1979. He had 20 Winston Cup victories and two Winston Cup championships.

Dale's lowest points finish during that time was 12th in 1982.

I can even look at a guy like Bobby Labonte with 21 Cup wins and one Championship that came in 2000.

The fact is, while Kyle has won a ton of races, he has yet to prove he's one of the all-time greats. You can look at the stats and see. Jeff, Jimmie and Dale had all accomplished more on the Cup level during their first six years than Kyle has.

Kyle has won 22 Cup races, 49 Nationwide races and 29 Truck races, which as I said, is impressive but does not deserve the kind of recognition he is getting. Something that should be obvious to everybody is the amount of those races Kyle actually runs.

Since 2005 Kyle has ran a total of 176 Nationwide races out of the 229 that have been run, and has won a total of 44 of those races during that time.

Kyle can be the king of the Nationwide and Truck Series all he wants, but until he wins a Cup title, he should not be mentioned in the same sentence as some of those I mentioned above.