Even though he fell short of successfully defending his 2015 NASCAR Premier Series championship, Kyle Busch didn't go away without a vigorous fight.
Busch won four races, two poles and also piled up 17 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes en route to earning a place in the Championship 4 of the Chase playoffs, where he raced for the title in the winner-take-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Here are 10 defining moments to his 2016 season:
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Flurry of fours
Everything seemed to be clicking at the beginning of the season for the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team, as Busch reeled off four consecutive top-four finishes -- a pair of thirds at Daytona and Atlanta, followed by a pair of fourths at Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Busch recorded his first win of the season in the spring race at the Martinsville short track, clocking the competition to win one of NASCAR's most coveted trophies.
Busch made it back-to-back wins when he also went to Victory Lane in the spring race at Texas.
In a disturbing pattern that would repeat itself to slow Busch's momentum again and again, he followed the wins at Martinsville and Texas by crashing and finishing 38th on the short track at Bristol.
Busch claimed his third win and his ninth finish of fourth or better in the season's first 11 races when he took the checkered flag at Kansas in the spring.
Busch wrecked at Dover (above) and then again at Charlotte, finishing 30th and 33rd, respectively, in back-to-back races. This was part of his worst four-race stretch of the season in which he finished 30th or worse each time, culminating in a last-place run to 40th at Michigan because of engine failure.
Busch's fourth win of the season came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he celebrated with wife Samantha and son Brexton.
Bad again at Bristol
Busch's second 2016 visit to Bristol -- a track where he has won five times, more than at any other on the NASCAR circuit -- was even worse than his first, which did not seem possible. But Busch crashed on Lap 357 of the 500-lap event and finished 39th after starting third.
Busch finished second in the season's penultimate race at Phoenix, securing his place in the Championship 4 while outrunning his older brother, Kurt (in the No. 41, left), among others.
The sun finally set on Busch's hopes of successfully defending his 2015 title in the season finale at Homestead, where he finished third amongs the Championship 4 group of drivers and sixth overall in the race.