Busch won the NASCAR Cup Series twice in 2015 and 2019 under Joe Gibbs racing, however, the change of scenery has always been about the sponsorship… not about Kyle’s driving.
The Mars family had informed Joe Gibbs Racing this summer that this would be their last year in order to give them time to find a replacement for Busch.
According to Joe Gibbs Racing President Dave Alpern, the end of the partnerships is a result of Mars looking to try some new things:
“[The company] wants to try some new things, and no matter how big a brand is, they have a finite budget, so when you want to try something new, it has to come from somewhere else.”
And finding a new, big money, sponsor for Kyle has proven to be difficult.
In July, Kyle commented on the struggle:
“You’ve gotta have sponsorship in this sport to be able to go forward. It’s not as simple as being a basketball player and being a Michael Jordan or a LeBron James and being a really good player and the team losing a sponsor and then saying, ‘OK, Michael, LeBron, we gotta let you go because we can’t afford you.’”
Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson agreed:
“The driving issue, the underlying issue, is his sponsorship and the departure of Mars. That is the biggest issue, and until that is solved to whatever degree… because that dictates everything else; it dictates salary, dictates everything else that comes.
But that’s the keystone. We have to find that and place that keystone first.”
However, we don’t know what Richard Childress Racing has secured in terms of a sponsorship for Busch.
Joe Gibbs’ 19-year-old grandson, Ty Gibbs, is set to replace Busch as the driver of the #18 car.
Kyle Busch’s History With Richard Childress
For those of you die hard racing fans, you probably remember the fight between Kyle Busch and Richard Childress at the Truck Series race at Kansas Motor Speedway back in 2011.
After Childress’s driver, Joey Coulter, beat out Kyle Busch to win, Busch ran his car right up next to Coulter’s and gave him a little “love tap” on the cool down lap, and Childress didn’t take too fondly of that.
After the race, Busch, who was 26 at the time, and Childress, who was 65, got into a heated altercation, which resulted in Childress putting the young driver in a headlock, and he basically beat him upside the head a few times.
Yeah… don’t mess with that grandpa strength.
When asked about Busch, Childress said:
“Kyle’s a great race driver. He and I have talked. We put all our differences behind us a while back. He’s a great race driver. He’ll land him a good ride somewhere for sure.”
Childress has two cars on his cup team, with his grandson Austin Dillon in the No. 3 car who will be staying with the team, and Tyler Reddick in the No. 8, who will be moving to 23XI Racing, the co-owned team by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, in 2024.
Could Tyler move over to 23XI a season early? Looks like it…