Even If Kyle Busch Loses JGR NASCAR Ride, His Long-Range Plan Is Still on Track

·3 min read
Photo credit: James Gilbert - Getty Images
Photo credit: James Gilbert - Getty Images
  • As of today, team owner Joe Gibbs needs a primary 2023 sponsor for Kyle Busch since M&Ms isn’t returning

  • Both Gibbs and Busch say they want to stay together, but the ongoing uncertainty has many in the garage saying Busch is all but gone from the No. 18 Toyota after this season.

  • His son, Brexton, is just seven and is already quite a racer in his own right.

The NASCAR family may have gotten a glimpse at Kyle Busch’s future during a media availability Saturday at Richmond Raceway. No, the two-time Cup Series champion didn’t shed light on his immediate plans with Joe Gibbs Racing, but he did look ahead to what might happen in the next decade or so.

As of today, team owner Joe Gibbs needs a primary 2023 sponsor for Busch since M&Ms isn’t returning. Busch has put up unimaginable numbers in his 15 years with JGR: 224 combined NASCAR victories, two Cup titles and one in Xfinity. He is among the most loved/hated drivers on the grid. He’s a lead-pipe cinch lock for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, maybe on the first ballot.

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Both Gibbs and Busch say they want to stay together, but the ongoing uncertainty has many in the garage saying Busch is all but gone from the No. 18 Toyota after this season. (One weekend rumor at Richmond has Busch becoming the full-schedule driver next year for Kaulig Racing).

Busch’s uncertain future continues to occupy much of his time.

“It’s at the forefront in the discussions (with Gibbs),” he said. “Each and every week, one if not probably the second question that gets asked is about that. It’s high up there, and that’s probably why it’s taking a little bit longer than what it should. So, we’re trying to work through it.”

Without offering any insight about his 2023 plans, Busch did hint at what was down the pike as his son, Brexton, comes of age.

“Wherever this next place is (for Busch himself), whether it’s Joe Gibbs Racing or whoever, I’d like to not have to go through this again,” Busch said. “I’ve got six, seven, maybe eight more years (of racing) if I play all this out perfectly.

“This is the second time I've gone through this (potential loss of a ride). The last time was 15 years ago at Hendrick, and the landscape was entirely different then. I had a runway of 20 to 25 (future) years, so I had had more runway to stand on. But this (Gibbs) situation is very important to me, as well as Kyle Busch Motorsports.”

Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton - Getty Images

Busch turned 37 in May and has been a full-time NASCAR racer for 18 years, first in the Truck Series, then Xfinity and Cup. His son, Brexton, is just seven and is already quite a racer in his own right. His web site shows a winner’s trophy looming over him, too heavy for him to hoist. “Obviously, he’s pretty talented,” father said of his son. “He wins a lot. More than I do, and I hear about it every day.”

The family’s long-range plan seems to look like this: Busch will stay in Cup while Brexton continues to move from karts into more sophisticated small race cars. When he reaches 16 (and gets his NASCAR license) he and his father will share a Camping World Truck Series ride for a couple of seasons.

“And then it’s his truck when he’s 18 and I’m done,” Busch said. “I’m out… you know what I mean? Like that’s the perfect play. If I can align all of that, the runway exists for a Busch. If you want to look at it that way, the runway (for Brexton) is 30 years. You know, he can carry on this legacy a hell of a lot longer than I will.”