Gordon vs Johnson vs Kyle Busch

Discussion in 'NASCAR chat' started by ChexOrWrex, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. ChexOrWrex

    ChexOrWrex Ya gotta wanna

    This is a repost from the NASCAR subreddit, check it out here:

    All credit goes to the OP who did the research.

    Kyle Busch won his 52nd career Cup Series race on Sunday, placing him 11th on the all-time wins list. At age 33, he did this in 502 starts, for a winning percentage of 10.35%.

    For comparison:

    - Jimmie Johnson won his 52nd race at Loudon in June of 2010. Johnson was just one year older at age 34 at the time, but won more over a shorter period of time, winning his 52nd race in his 308th start, for a then winning percentage of 16.88%.

    - Jeff Gordon won his 52nd race at Richmond in September of 2000, at age 29 in his 248th start, for a winning percentage of 20.97%

    This mostly has to do with Gordon and Johnson having their prime years earlier in their career than Busch, along with Busch winning only 4 times in his first 3 seasons compared to 14 for Johnson and 9 for Gordon (I always forget that he didn't win a points race in his rookie season).

    Although Busch's career hasn't been as consistent of a rise as Johnson's and Gordon's were, it seems that he is right in the heart of his peak. He won his first championship at age 30. Prior to that year he had never finished better than 4th in points, and 7 of his first 10 seasons he finished 10th or worse at season's end. Including his title in 2015, he has made the championship 4 for the last 4 seasons, and based on his performance so far this year we should have no reason to believe that won't continue or at least come close.

    Johnson had a much stronger start to his career, winning 6 titles in his first 12 years and never finishing worse than 6th in the final points standings. Since then he has had a gradual fall off (I don't care what anyone says about his 2016 title, because if you look at it that was statistically one of his very worst seasons). So if you ask me, when it's all said and done, Kyle Busch's career may look like Johnson's but in reverse.

    Gordon's prime years came from 1995 to 2007. After that year he began a similar gradual decline to Johnson, but with much stronger stats all the way up to the end. The more I look at Gordon's stats it gets easier to see why drivers start to enter the "will the reach Gordon?" conversation, but never can quite get there. Gordon was rock solid for 23 full seasons, only finishing outside of the top 10 twice. He won early and often and put up statistics that shouldn't even be possible in the era of competition and parity we live in.
    Whizzer, Kiante, gnomesayin and 6 others like this.
  2. Turtle84

    Turtle84 Team Owner

    KB is a late bloomer. Let's see if he can dominate the Cup series for the next decade, and then remeasure. He's definitely in his prime at the moment.
    Truex_rox, jws926, Kiante and 2 others like this.
  3. ToyYoda

    ToyYoda Team Owner

    All three guys have had great careers for sure, but I’d go Gordon, Johnson, Busch as far as ranking them. Johnson has the most titles, but some of those were a product of the Chase , Gordon would have 3 more and Jimmie would have 4 less by the old way of tallying the most points over the season (cue the “THEY WOULD HAVE RACED DIFFERENT!” outcry). Kyle may be in the conversation someday, but he’s not quite there yet IMO. He’s still a ways behind Gordon and JJ in Cup wins and he has just the one Cup championship, which itself was won under questionable circumstances depending on who you ask.
    Truex_rox, jws926, Kiante and 10 others like this.
  4. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    Always loved that argument. ;)

    Jeff Gordon's previously quoted 20.97% wining percentage. Man, that's an astounding number. And to think, it's from an era that I'm told that they didn't even give it their all. I can only imagine what he may have accomplished should he have been trying to finish his best all the time. Oh, what could have been.
  5. Turtle84

    Turtle84 Team Owner

    Peak Jeff was unbeatable. Jimmie's season long numbers from 2004-2013 are unmatched, absolutely incredible the consistency, while being forced to execute in a playoff system.
    LJ7201, Truex_rox, Ventisca and 8 others like this.
  6. Team Penske

    Team Penske Team Owner

    It is obvious to me that Gordon was the best season driver while JJ was the best driver in the chase. Kyle has 1 championship and like Denny he can't close the deal when it matters most.
    I don't think his career of being the best will last much longer. I say this because there are a few young ones who with a little more experience will challenge him for the wins and will cut into his winning percentage even more.
    I still give him credit for making the races exciting and I am sure his fan base will grow a bit more.
  7. Johali

    Johali Team Owner Contributor

    Yep, there's more kids born everyday that likes candy. :booya:
    dpkimmel2001 likes this.
  8. ChexOrWrex

    ChexOrWrex Ya gotta wanna

    1995-2001 Jeff Gordon stats are absolutely insane. I don’t that will ever be duplicated.
  9. IanMcVittie

    IanMcVittie Team Owner

    I was born at night but not last night so I won’t get sucked down this rabbit hole. All 3 drivers are skilled wheelmen and all 3 deserve to be feted for their accomplishments.

    It is never good to assume anything as it was assumed Jeff would win 5-6-7 titles. It was assumed JJ would keep winning races and then he didn’t. Kyle winning 4-6 races for another 10 years is assumed but who can say?

    How many more races would Dale or David have won if they could have had built in rest breaks each race and lucky dogs? How many more races would Kyle have won if he ran prior to the modern era?

    If Nascar reduces the schedule or ends up holding double headers where the races are shortened and 2 winners are announced what will that do?
    Team Penske likes this.
  10. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    Then Kyle Busch weekend sweeps would actually mean something ;):)
    LewTheShoe, FLRacingFan and mack like this.
  11. DIDIT

    DIDIT Old School Fan

    Bottom line for me
    Young Jeff Gordon - mature
    Young Jimmie Johnson - mature
    Kyle Busch - immature

    Busch had his chance but his immaturity got in his way.
  12. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    I’d say his stats from 1995-2007 were insane. Outside of missing the Chase in 05 (still won the Daytona 500 though) he was legit in it every year for the championship and still winning races at a high rate. Even when he fell off (let’s say 08-15) he morphed from a guy that won every week to being a championship contender up through the last month of the season, his luck just totally shifted from what he had during that 95-07 run. He still found a way to be there in terms of being one of the last championship contenders left. I could make a case where he became a better regular season driver as he hit his middle to late 30’s than he was in the beginning of his career (1998 aside. Just an unreal year. I feel he was mastering the Chase or Playoffs but he ran into the 48 machine) I’d say the end of his career was doomed by two things 1.) Chase invention/Playoffs implementation (nothing you can say will convince me JG shouldn’t be a 7 time champion, those gimmicks screwed his championship leagcy the most. Hands down.) 2.) He didn’t get as many lucky breaks at the end of his career as he did at the beginning (restart troubles). With the gimmick they have now, it would pain me to see Kyle end up with only 1 or 2 Cups when it’s all said and done it boggles my mind that some on here say he can’t close..... I’d be thankful because he’d be a an absolute lethal contender with a full season points format instead of having your championship decided on one race.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  13. mack

    mack Team Owner

    History has been established for Gordon, it's winding down for JJ, incomplete on Busch. Only time will tell the tale on Busch. To be in the conversation for GOAT, he has to win more Cup titles. He ain't there yet. Not by a long shot.
  14. If the Chase/playoffs never existed, we are probably talking about Gordon being the greatest IMHO
  15. mack

    mack Team Owner

    Yep. That goofiness cost Gordon more than anyone else. I wonder how many titles Sr might not have one? Another reason I do not miss Brian France.
  16. MRM

    MRM Team Owner

    I agree. As good as Kyle Busch is he's not winning double digit wins and championships over several seasons like Gordon did.
  17. Turtle84

    Turtle84 Team Owner

    And....cue the KB 14 win season and 2019 2020 2021 2022 championship :)....and scene.
    Elliott_Fan_9 likes this.
  18. Joker

    Joker #1 Harvick Fan

    Gordon was knocking on that elusive fifth championship literally until his very last full-time race. Jimmie Johnson seems to have utterly collapsed. That's going to hurt his legacy.
    Snappy D and FLRacingFan like this.
  19. dpkimmel2001

    dpkimmel2001 Team Owner

    I think the whole Cup title count thing has lost it's merit. Pre and post Chase eras are so drastically different that I know I have a hard time seeing them as an equal measurement of success. A once complete season's body of work has been minimized to wins or accomplishments at the right moment. Not the same in this fans opinion. I'm really sorry to see that we lost those comparisons. Personally, I think the only comparison that we have these days are individual race wins. Others, I'm sure, will disagree but nobody is ever going to convince me that Double J's seven compare to those previously obtained.

    Yep, with little doubt.
  20. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Kyle didn't win a Chase/Playoff race as a participant until the 2015 finale at Homestead. For the better part of his career he was a stat-padding choke artist, and that didn't really change until recently. At the moment though there's probably no one in better form than him so it'll be interesting to see how long he can sustain it. He needs to win more titles to enter true GOAT territory.
  21. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    Yep, Kyle Busch is the only driver the press has to talk about for the most part. There is a void at the present time. Timing is everything sometimes.
  22. mack

    mack Team Owner

    Great points. I was thinking how goofy it is for a title to be decided on one race. But, Kulwicki won his title based on one race, he earned it all season long and wrapped it up in the finale. In 89 Rusty won over Sr at the finale in Atlanta. Going in, Rusty would have had to suffered a colossal failure to have lost it, but it was undecided on race day morning, if I recall correctly. Either way, I prefer the old points system. It's the only way to fairly measure drivers. That and wins at the Cup level.
  23. mack

    mack Team Owner

    One reason there is a void for the press to talk about is because there is a void in the Chevrolet department. Some of the best young talent is driving nearly non competitive rides. Larson, Elliot, Bowman and Byron. First two are very established and proven, the other two are getting there. I hope the bowties get it figured out.
  24. ToyYoda

    ToyYoda Team Owner

    56 wins and 4 titles in that time span. Just those seven seasons would have put him 8th on the all-time win list.
  25. 2 Sweet

    2 Sweet Legend

    Jeff Gordon is the greatest of all-time. :D
    AdoubleU24 and Snappy D like this.
  26. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    All three have/had decent cars and teams. Maybe the greatest driver is the one who drives a backmarker and finishes mid field on a regular basis. .
  27. Team Penske

    Team Penske Team Owner

    You may want to consider other teams have older drivers that have graduating from the school of
    hard knocks.
    mack likes this.
  28. The Nature Boy

    The Nature Boy Stylin and Profilin

    I hated Jeff Gordon at the time but the son of a bitch knew how to drive a car. The top 5 drivers in NASCAR history are Petty, Pearson, Earnhardt, Gordon, and Johnson. Petty, Pearson, Gordon, and Earnhardt are untouchable as the four best to ever wheel a stock car.
    FLRacingFan, Johali and ToyYoda like this.
  29. Greg

    Greg 2014 RF YAHOO CHAMP Your leader

    JJ a top 3 all time cup driver.
    Gordon a top 5 cup driver at best. JJ dominated Gordon while Gordon was still young.
    Kyle Busch a top 10 cup driver.
    LJ7201, Truex_rox and LewTheShoe like this.
  30. Turtle84

    Turtle84 Team Owner

    I have to throw out that DW and Cale almost always get left out of this discussion, and both have very impressive win totals and seasons in the modern era. It's no slam dunk, and a lot of personal preference on this thing. Time period nostalgia.
  31. Snappy D

    Snappy D 2017 Pick Em Champion 2018 Bold Predictor

    I always feel bad when I leave DW out. His stats from 1981-1989 are pretty amazing as well.
  32. ReturnTrip

    ReturnTrip Team Owner

    Jimmie was the best at winning with a 7th place car. With the right car Jeff wins at any track. Kyle can dunk on third graders.
    Elliott_Fan_9 likes this.
  33. The Nature Boy

    The Nature Boy Stylin and Profilin

    I'd say that Johnson has a slightly unfair advantage there because he was able to keep Chad Knaus for his entire career up to this year. If Jeff had Ray Evernham in the early 2000s, things look a lot different in my opinion.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  34. Elliott_Fan_9

    Elliott_Fan_9 Formerly JJ_14

    Kyle @ age 33 has more wins than my favorite driver of all time, Tony Stewart who already retired. He looks to me like the favorite to win the championship this season, which would be his second. This year could be the start of a Jimmie Johnson type of dominance from Kyle Busch. He could win two or three straight titles, which would give him four titles overall (tied with Jeff), along with 70+ wins.

    He has been dominant & has the best equipment in the sport. If he accomplishes this, I'd have no problem if you want to put him ahead of Jeff Gordon. Gordon was dominant early in his career but faded for some reason right in his prime.
  35. DaBiff1618

    DaBiff1618 Team Owner

    Something people always leave out when talking about Kyle, he’s never had a great crew chief. Gordon had Evernham, JJ had Chad, Stewart had Zippadelli for his first 2 titles, Brad has Paul Wolfe, etc. Kyle has never had a great crew chief like a Cole Pearn or a Chad Knaus, so for him to put up the numbers he has is damn impressive. He’s nascars Lebron or Aaron Rodgers
    ToyYoda and Elliott_Fan_9 like this.
  36. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    Kyle has a long ways left to go and I think he'll get close to the 100 wins mark. I mean, Kyle's 33. For perspective, Kevin Harvick is 43 right now and at the prime of his career. Mark Martin was still winning races when he was 49.

    It's possible that, 10 years from now, Kyle's winning more than he is now.

    The competition, IMO, is as tough as ever though. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr. are running extremely well, Joey Logano's living up to his nickname, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott. Plus you have Christopher Bell on his way.

    Kyle's influence in this sport will surpass him as a driver though. With him and David Wilson, there are a lot of talented drivers who are getting opportunities they wouldn't have not that long ago, thanks to Kyle's Super Late Model and Truck Series teams and Toyota Racing Development. I'll stop now before I turn into @Revman.
    CaptainHiTop and Elliott_Fan_9 like this.
  37. jaqua19

    jaqua19 Team Owner

    People really attribute Jimmie's success to team 48 a bit too much. I mean, the team was a dynasty like the Patriots

    But Jimmie is to the 48 what Brady is to the Pats.

    It's like people think he was a star/super star driver in a great situation.

    Jimmie had a knack for driving the mile-and-a-half better than anyone in the sport. Watch the fall 2009 Charlotte race to see what I mean. Kasey kahne and he had the best cars, Kane led the most laps and was leading before the final restart. Jimmie beat them out of the pits and drove off. you could compare his line to literally every other car and it was different. There is one great shot, Kahne is at the Apex of the corner and getting back to the gas at that point. Jimmie is just landing in to the corner halfway through it and drives straight off. He would always start corner entry late.

    At mile and a halves Jimmie could maximize corner speed better than ANYONE.

    If someone wants to say another contemporary of his had more raw talent go ahead, but the fact is, Jimmie's style worked out so well in a cup car and Chad would set up the car to allow Jimmie to drive how he likes it. Jimmie's style in a car that handles to his liking could beat anyone on the track for 10 years, regardless of what they did.

    Raw talent isn't the only skill. Jimmie had his own driving skill, and it was executed flawlessly for 11 years. Confident, clutch, and a mental winner.

    All in all, there was no better race car driver in NASCAR and no one today comes close to the driver Jimmie was.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    LJ7201 likes this.
  38. jaqua19

    jaqua19 Team Owner

    Kyle faced much tougher competition from 2005-2015. He raced against multiple champions in their prime

    And was beat out by two of them for 10 years in terms of championships.

    NASCAR is in the middle of a generation turnover right now. If anything, this hurts Kyle's competition.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  39. AndyMarquisLive

    AndyMarquisLive Short Track Fanatic

    Kyle Busch will be the Elder Statesman soon. The next 10 years, he might be even more dominant. But only time will tell.
  40. Greg

    Greg 2014 RF YAHOO CHAMP Your leader

    Bobby Allison, too
    Spotter22 and KodiakRusty89 like this.

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