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The Art of Racing - Year-end NASCAR awards

As we close out this Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, let’s look at the best overall organization and driver.

Joe Gibbs made a name for himself while coaching the Washington Redskins from 1981-1992 and 2004-2007. Well known for his long hours and work ethic, he constructed one of the most diverse dynasties in NFL history. During his first 12 years in the NFL, he led the Redskins to eight playoff appearances, four NFC Championship titles and three Super Bowl titles.

After retiring at the end of the 1992 season, Gibbs switched his focus to his NASCAR team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Utilizing his same style of leadership, he has won four NASCAR Cup Series championships - Bobby Labonte in 2000, Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005, and Kyle Busch in 2015. Joe Gibbs Racing has also been successful in the XFINITY Series, winning two championships – Busch in 2009 and Daniel Suarex in 2016.

Busch carries the banner for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch has many fans in his corner but just as many who hate him. His brash manner and temper has angered many, but his exciting racing style leaves the fans cheering. 

Busch started driving in the NASCAR Truck Series and Xfinity Series when he was 17 years old. He entered the Cup Series at 18 years old. Today, now 33, his statistics are mind-boggling. 

He has 51 wins and 269 top 10’s in the Cup Series, 92 wins and 249 top 10’s in the Xfinity Series and 51 wins and 114 top 10’s in the Truck Series. His totals put him on pace to make NASCAR history. Busch is challenging Richard Petty’s record of 200 career wins. With 194 total wins already in the books, he should become the all-time NASCAR leader in wins sometime in 2019.

Busch’s comparison to Petty is misleading in that Petty only competed in the Cup Series, so angry old-time fans are fast to point out this fact. Still, Busch’s totals are over 17 years while Petty’s totals span 35 years. Busch is 11th on the all-time Cup Series win list and if he races 10 more years, he could easily trail only Petty and David Pearson on the list.

Busch has stiff competition from many drivers in the Cup Series, but most of his competition could come from within the Joe Gibbs Racing stable. Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones are returning to Joe Gibbs Racing while Martin Truex Jr. joins the team in 2019. The best only get better.

Hopefully I will be back for the 2019 season. The excitement begins in February with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying to be conducted on Feb. 10, the Dual races start Feb. 14, the Xfinity race on Feb. 16 and the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17.