Busch-Gibbs Talks Drag On

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, July 23 2022

Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing are talking about the future. (File photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

LONG POND, Pa. – Kyle Busch said Saturday he, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota were working diligently to make sure he remained with the Cornelius, N.C.-based team where he has won two NASCAR Cup championships.

“The goal hasn’t changed, and that goal is for me to be able to continue at Joe Gibbs Racing with Toyota,” Busch said before qualifying second for Sunday’s M&Ms Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway.

“You would like to be done, obviously, … but you’ve got to weigh out everything that is front of you and see what the best thing is not only for myself, but for my family and for the KBM family.” 

Busch’s signing of a new contract with JGR has been delayed due to a sponsor not having been secured for the 2023 season. Mars Inc., manufacturer of Kyle Busch’s sponsor M&Ms, announced in December the company would leave NASCAR at the end of the 2022 season after decades of involvement in the sport. Mars entered NASCAR in the 1990s and has been the 37-year-old Busch’s sponsor since 2008 when he joined JGR.

JGR thought it had a new sponsor, but the deal fell through. Last week, Busch said he had talked with some other teams and Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson told NBC Sports they were making contingency plans should Busch not return to JGR.

However, Busch realizes he is not the only person involved in the equation since his NASCAR Camping World Series Truck team fields Toyotas.

“That weighs on me a lot,” Busch said. “We have 50 something employees at Kyle Busch Motorsports on the truck series team and in the chassis shop and the  body shop and the fab shop. It’s important for me to continue to keep all of them in mind and all of their families to make sure we get something done that keeps all of that going.”   

  Kurt Busch admits he is surprised that JGR has yet to secure a sponsor for his younger brother, but he believes Mars’ December announcement “caught JGR by surprise.” 

“It’s a matter of continuing to work hard and finding options that work for everybody,” said the older Busch, who qualified 10th for Sunday’s race. “To me an organic sponsor, or a sponsor that organically blends with a driver is one of the most important things to look at and to find and that’s what I know the first categories have been for them.” 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, July 23 2022
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