Friday, March 24, 2023

Kyle Busch cryptic on future at Joe Gibbs Racing after 2022

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Last week at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch became one of only nine drivers in NASCAR history to have won 60 or more races. Most of those have come behind the wheel of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota, which he has piloted since 2008 and would seem primed to pilot for the rest of his career — so long as circumstances allow him to.

Speaking to the media at Talladega Superspeedway ahead of the GEICO 500, Kyle Busch offered cryptic answers concerning his status with Joe Gibbs Racing beyond 2022. Busch’s future with his race team has been complicated by the exit of longtime sponsor M&M’s, which is leaving NASCAR altogether at season’s end.

Although Busch stated that he could not envision himself racing anywhere else than Gibbs, he offered limited insight into where things stood and seemingly entertained the chance that things might not work out from a contract standpoint.

“I’m not getting antsy about it,” Busch said in a report by Terrin Waack of “If it happens, it happens. If it don’t, it don’t. Goodbye.”

Only a week away from turning 37 years old, Busch is still very much in his prime and is continuing to build his claim to being one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers ever. However, he went so far in stating he couldn’t envision himself not driving for Joe Gibbs Racing as to imply he would not race otherwise, using a Days of Thunder reference, “I would say I lost my ride [like] Cole Trickle,” and saying he’d become the hauler driver for son Brexton’s racing program.

When asked later, car owner Joe Gibbs gave a more optimistic outlook on Busch’s situation.

“We’re confident we’re going to get things done. So we’re just working hard at it,” Gibbs told Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports. “It takes a while.”

Busch’s last contract extension came in 2019, when he signed another multi-year deal the same season he won his second NASCAR Cup Series title. The exact terms and length of the deal were not disclosed.

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