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Kyle Busch

Getty Kyle Busch will make his 500th Cup Series start for Toyota.

Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch will celebrate a special milestone at Martinsville Speedway. He will make his 500th Cup Series start as a member of Toyota Racing Development.

Busch, who started his Cup Series career with Hendrick Motorsports, joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008. He took over the No. 18 Toyota Camry from JJ Yeley and kicked off an unprecedented winning streak. Busch reached Victory Lane eight times during his first year in the No. 18 and continued his run of consecutive seasons with at least one win.

Busch has spent every season since 2008 in the No. 18, and he has continued to achieve success on the race track. He has 55 wins in a Toyota, which have helped him reach 59 total. This is the most among active drivers and good enough for ninth on the all-time list. Busch also has two Cup Series championships to his name.

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Busch Started His Cup Series Career in a Chevrolet

Kyle Busch: Rick Hendrick dropped me after outburstsNASCAR champ Kyle Busch looks back on his forced departure from Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 2007 season, including a disruption in communication after the 2004 death of Ricky Hendricks and a long conversation with Jeff Gordon that made its way back to team owner, Rick Hendrick. Later, JGR team owner Joe Gibbs…2021-02-10T15:11:38Z

While Busch has made 500 Cup Series starts as a Toyota driver, he also has several with another manufacturer. He made 114 Cup Series starts in a Chevrolet between 2004 and 2007 while posting four wins. This includes trips to Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway and Phoenix Raceway as a rookie. He added wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway before switching teams.

Busch achieved some success as a member of Hendrick Motorsports, but his time with the team came to an end after the 2007 season. Team owner Rick Hendrick released Busch and ultimately replaced him with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Busch explained to Graham Bensinger in 2021 that there was a breakdown in communication between him in the team after Rick Hendricks’ son Ricky died in a 2004 plane crash. He said that it was harder for him to talk to the team owner, who was considerably older than it was to talk to Ricky.

This disruption in communication, as well as outbursts at the 2007 All-Star Race and other events, led to Busch’s release from the team. He thought that his career was possibly over, but Joe Gibbs was quick to bring him into the fold.

Busch Will Move Up Another Leaderboard in 2022

Kyle BuschKyle Busch

GettyKyle Busch prepares for a race at Circuit of the Americas.

Busch will make his 500th Cup Series start as a member of Toyota Racing Development, but it will be his 614th overall. He is currently 30th on the all-time list of starts, just behind Tony Stewart (618).

Busch will pass Stewart and two other drivers during the 2022 Cup Series season. He will reach 642 during the championship race at Phoenix Raceway, which will move him past both Dale Earnhardt Jr. (631) and Buck Baker (635).

Busch will end the year 27th on the all-time list, and he will set himself up to move past multiple others in 2023. This list includes JD McDuffie (653), Dale Jarrett (668), Joe Nemechek (774), and Dale Earnhardt Sr. (676).

While he will pass multiple Hall of Fame drivers, Busch still remains behind two fellow champions in terms of starts. Kurt Busch has the most starts among active drivers at 763, which is 11th all-time. Kevin Harvick is just behind him at 761.

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Source: Heavy

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