CREW CHIEF: Adam Stevens
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POINTS: Eighth in NASCAR Cup Series
WINS: One (Texas II)
LAPS LED: 516
TOP 5s: 14
TOP 10s: 20
POLES: Two (Las Vegas I, Kentucky)
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Busch avoided the first winless season of his Cup Series career thanks to his October victory at Texas Motor Speedway. He has now earned a win in 16 consecutive seasons, tied for the third-longest streak all-time with Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Rudd.
WHAT WENT WRONG: When he was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs, Busch suffered the earliest post-season exit for a reigning Cup Series champion since the current format debuted in 2014. Perhaps even more surprising was how inevitable it felt. Busch was waylaid by six DNFs in 2020, and when he wasn’t having bad luck, he and crew chief Adam Stevens couldn’t reclaim the performance that took them and the No. 18 team to the 2019 title.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2021: A crew chief shuffle for 2021 at JGR has paired Busch with Ben Beshore, who served as race engineer for the No. 18 team during his first championship season in 2015 (Stevens has moved to the No. 20 team and new driver Christopher Bell). More recently, Busch and Beshore claimed four Xfinity Series wins together in 2019. Now, as Beshore debuts as a full-time Cup Series crew chief, they’ll seek to restore the No. 18 team’s elite status.