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Where does Shrub rank now?

Kyle Busch

Is Kyle Busch NASCAR's best 24-year-old? Probably not.

Anyone who watched Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway knows that Kyle Busch won on his birthday.

That’s all nice and sweet and all. But what I want to know is on his 24th birthday, where does he rank. After all, we of the ESPN-this-the-greatest-game-or-athlete-ever-because-we-just-watched-it generation need to know.

Seriously. Is he the best ever, so far, for someone his age?

Here’s where he ranks among the greats when they were 24. I did the research for you. You’ll thank me later. Or not.

Dale Earnhardt
Turned 24: April  29, 1975
Cup wins: 0
What he’s got on Shrub: Earnhardt turned 24 in his rookie season. So there really isn’t enough data here to make a valid comparison. But I’ll try anyway. Kyle Busch is in his fifth season. By the time Earnhardt was in his fifth full season, 1984,  he had 11 wins. Busch has 15 wins in Sprint Cup. Two years later, Earnhardt won his first of seven championships.  

Richard Petty
Turned 24: July 2, 1961
Cup wins: 5
What he’s got on Shrub: At age 24, the King already had a runner-up finish in the Cup standings. The best Shrub has done is fifth (2007). In 1960 Petty finished a distant second to Rex White despite three victories. Four years later, in 1964, Petty won his first of seven titles. At age 24, the end of the 1961 season, he had a ridiculous career stat: 63 top-10 finishes in 102 starts and 40 top-fives.  Busch has 76 top-10s, but in 58 more starts.

Jeff Gordon
Turned 24:
Aug. 4, 1995
Sprint Cup wins: 7
What he’s got on Shrub: Won his first of four championships this season. He dominated with seven wins and eight poles, possibly intimidating the Intimidator. While Wonderboy has lost some wonder over the years, he’s higher in the points standings than Busch because he is way more consistent.

In short. Shrub has got a ways to go. But his future looks promising, as if you didn’t know that already. Is he the greatest? Talk to me when he’s won a championship. Then maybe he’ll be in the group picture.

1 comment to Where does Shrub rank now?

  • Rodman

    Only time will tell us if Shrub will be counted with the greatest in the sport or be only a flash in the pan. He appears to be headed toward a fantastic number of wins at an early age and stage in his history, yet last year when it counted he could not win. I agree with Nate lets see if he can win a championship or two or more. Then we will know.

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