Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Three drivers who had owned win streaks of five or more seasons went winless throughout the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Of the 32 drivers who competed full-time throughout the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, 19 found victory lane at some point throughout the 36-race calendar. Nine of those 19 drivers did not win any races during the 2021 season, including five who had never previously won.
Some of the 13 drivers who did not win in 2022 were those who, to put it bluntly, you wouldn’t expect to find victory lane. Among those drivers were Rick Ware Racing’s Cody Ware, Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie, Petty GMS Motorsports’ Ty Dillon, Front Row Motorsports rookie Todd Gilliland, and Wood Brothers Racing rookie Harrison Burton.
Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer, Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley, and JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who have all won before, were also among 2022’s winless drivers.
Winless full-time drivers in 2022 who found victory lane in 2021 included Stewart-Haas Racing’s Aric Almirola and Front Row Motorsports’ Michael McDowell, as well as three drivers who had entered the 2022 season with win streaks of at least five seasons.
Those three drivers were RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr., and Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney.
Keselowski entered the 2022 season on an 11-year win streak, the second longest active streak among all drivers, but those 11 seasons were all spent with Team Penske.
His move to RFK Racing as not only a driver but as a part owner was sure to include growing pains, and those growing pains were evident from the get-go. His top finish of the year was a fifth place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and he failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Truex entered the 2022 season on a seven-year win streak. Despite the fact that he was the highest finishing Joe Gibbs Racing driver in the regular season point standings, he was the only one who failed to qualify for the playoffs since he failed to find victory lane.
His best finishes of the year were fourth place finishes at Richmond Raceway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Unlike Keselowski and Truex, Blaney qualified for the playoffs, but only because one of the regular season’s 16 different winners (23XI Racing’s Kurt Busch) withdrew as a result of the head injury he suffered in his single-car qualifying crash at Pocono Raceway.
Blaney entered the 2022 season on a five-year win streak, a win streak which includes all seven of his career victories. His best finishes of the year were second place finishes at Talladega Superspeedway and Phoenix Raceway.
Kyle Busch currently owns the longest active win streak, having won at least one race in each of the last 18 years. The only other driver to win at least one race in 18 straight seasons is Richard Petty, who won at least two races each season from 1960 to 1977. Busch has a chance to break this record in 2023.