NASCAR: Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing ‘Like Family’ Before Contract Negotiations

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

One of the best things NASCAR has put together is the Race for the Championship series – Kyle Busch was the topic of the latest episode. The show takes fans behind the scenes throughout the NASCAR season. Of course, a major storyline this season was the contract negotiations between Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing.

Joe Gibbs Racing was unable to secure sponsorship and unable to give Kyle Busch the contract he wanted. Neither here nor there, sometimes business happens. However, for two parties that were so intertwined for so many years – it is strange. There was a change in their relationship.

During the broadcast on Thursday night, Busch opened up about the relationship between himself and his soon-to-be former team.

“Something that’s so disappointing to me and so hurtful about this whole situation with [Joe Gibbs Racing] is they were like family. For 15 years, Joe [Gibbs] had my back in the stupidest of moments that Kyle Busch was. Like, he was there for me. And it’s gone. Like, it just flipped.”

Zach Sturniolo, the Senior Coordinator of Content at NASCAR caught the quote from the veteran NASCAR driver.

That might just be the price of doing business. There are connections that drivers make in racing that last lifetimes. Then there are others that seem rock solid but are contingent on contracts and race wins at the end of the day. It looks like Kyle Busch learned the hard way that they love you when you’re on their side, but when it comes to advocating for yourself – good luck.

Based on this quote it’s no wonder why Busch is going to be moving on to Richard Childress Racing in 2023. He will drive the No. 8 for the prestigious organization and has a lot of winning left to do.

Kyle Busch Suffers Late Season Penalties

Just to add to the sour nature of the relationship, Kyle Busch and his No. 18 team are going through penalties to end the year. Actually, for the crew members of the 18, the penalties are going to extend into the 2023 season. A loose wheel at Las Vegas caused the penalties.

We have seen the loose wheel get many teams this year. Rarely an exception, if you lose a wheel on the track, suspensions are coming. It usually goes to the crew chief, the jackman, and whichever tire changer was involved. In this case, it was the left front changer. Those suspensions last for four races.

So, when NASCAR lines up for the Busch Light Clash at the L.A. Coliseum, Ben Beshore and the crew members, Derrell Edwards and Michael Hicks will sit on the sidelines.

Of course, Kyle Busch won’t be with JGR – what does he care?