Remarkably, Kyle and Kurt Busch Have Collectively Driven for 10 Cup Teams — and Won With 8 of Them
At least somewhat lost in all the attention being given to Kyle Busch’s stellar first season at Richard Childress Racing is the fact that Busch has achieved notable success with every NASCAR Cup Series team for which he’s ever raced.
The same is true, with a couple of notable exceptions, for Kyle’s older brother — Kurt Busch. And it’s fair to say that the two siblings have both been around the block a time or two.
Let’s take a look at all 10 teams the Busch boys have raced for — and how much success they’ve enjoyed with those teams, respectively.
Roush Racing (Kurt Busch)
Kurt Busch went full-time Cup Series racing in 2001 with Roush Racing, the team today known as Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. Over five almost full seasons with Roush, Busch won a total of 14 races and — more importantly — the 2004 championship in the Cup Series’ first year of using a 10-race playoff format to crown its champion.
Busch parted ways with Roush at the end of 2005, missing the final two races of the season when the company suspended him after police charged him with reckless driving in his street vehicle.
Hendrick Motorsports (Kyle Busch)
As a NASCAR Cup Series rookie with Hendrick Motorsports in 2005, Kyle Busch won twice but finished 20th in the standings after struggling to find the consistency that so many newcomers to NASCAR’s premier division do.
Busch went on to spend two more years with the Rick Hendrick-owned organization, picking up a single victory in each season and improving his points finish to 10th and fifth, respectively. However, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. needed a ride for the 2008 season, Busch became the odd man out at Hendrick.
Team Penske (Kurt Busch)
Moving from one of NASCAR’s top teams to another, Kurt Busch joined Team Penske ahead of the 2006 Cup Series season and went on to spend a half dozen years with the Roger Penske-owned outfit.
Highlights of Busch’s Team Penske tenure included a victory in the 2010 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, followed by a win in the next weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at the same 1.5-mile quad-oval. Busch went to Victory Lane in each of his six years with Team Penske but never made it there more than twice in the same campaign.
Perhaps most disappointing for Busch during his Penske days was that he finished outside the top 10 in points four times and never ranked better than fourth at season’s end.
Joe Gibbs Racing (Kyle Busch)
Kyle Busch switched from Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets to Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas in advance of the 2008 season, and the move quickly paid dividends as Busch recorded a career-high eight Cup Series victories in Year One with JGR.
Busch would go on to spend 15 years with the organization, earning 56 Cup Series victories along with a slew of NASCAR Xfinity Series trophies. Most importantly, though, Busch captured the Cup championship for JGR in both 2015 and 2019 — cementing his standing as a generational talent who’ll inevitably be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame as soon as he becomes eligible post-retirement.
Phoenix Racing (Kurt Busch)
Easily the worst season of Kurt Busch’s career, at least from a performance standpoint, was 2012 — his only season with the small, underfunded Phoenix Racing organization, where he landed after being let go by Team Penske.
Along with being shut out of Victory Lane for the first time since his rookie season of 2001, Busch posted just one top-five and five top-10 finishes — both career worsts — on the way to finishing a dismal 25th in the standings.
Furniture Row Racing (Kurt Busch)
The next stop on the Kurt Busch career train was Furniture Row Racing, the now-defunct single-car team that operated out of a Denver, Colorado-based shop before ceasing operations at the end of the 2018 season.
Busch never won in his lone season with Furniture Row, but he did improve dramatically on his results from the previous year by netting 16 top-10 finishes — including 11 top-fives — en route to a respectable 10th-place points finish.
Stewart-Haas Racing (Kurt Busch)
In 2014, Kurt Busch made the unlikely move to Stewart-Haas Racing — the organization co-owned by a longtime rival, Tony Stewart. Although Busch’s switchover to SHR caught a lot of people by surprise and raised concerns about whether he and Stewart could co-exist not only in a driver-team owner relationship but also as teammates on the race track, the pairing ultimately bore tremendous fruit.
Over five years as part of the SHR stable, Busch never had a winless season and earned hands-down the biggest win of his career at the 2017 Daytona 500. Busch ended his time at SHR with six victories, never missing the playoffs.
Chip Ganassi Racing (Kurt Busch)
Kurt Busch spent his next three seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing, picking up a single win and qualifying for the playoffs each year despite learning in late 2021 that the organization had sold its assets to Trackhouse Racing and wouldn’t compete in 2022.
Faced with the choice to retire or look for a new team, Busch went with the second option after flirting with the idea of calling it good on a Cup Series career that had already stretched back more than two decades.
23XI Racing (Kurt Busch)
Kurt Busch’s final destination as a full-time driver was 23XI Racing, the organization founded by NBA legend Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin ahead of the 2021 season.
In joining 23XI for 2022, Busch took the reins of a Toyota for the first time in his Cup Series career and became a teammate of Bubba Wallace as the company expanded from one to two cars. Busch was enjoying a solid first year with the team, picking up a playoff-clinching win at Kansas Speedway before suffering a season-ending concussion in a qualifying crash at Pocono in July.
Due to the lingering effects of the injury, Busch later announced he would not return as a full-time driver in 2023 but left the door open to the possibility of future cameo starts upon receiving medical clearance to race again.
Richard Childress Racing (Kyle Busch)
Unable to come to terms with Joe Gibbs Racing on a contract extension to remain in the No. 18 Toyota for 2023 and perhaps beyond, Kyle Busch left the organization after 15 years to hook up with former rival team owner Richard Childress and reunite with Chevrolet after a decade-and-a-half in the Toyota camp.
Although the Busch-Childress marriage was an unlikely one, given that the two men engaged in a highly published physical altercation back in 2011, Busch has returned to frontrunner status after a tough final year with JGR both on and off the race track.
With his win this past weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis, Busch has triumphed three times in 15 outings as driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevy.