NASCAR: Kyle Busch Uninterested in Discussing Contract Negotiations Ahead of Daytona

by Nick Geddes

NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch was in no mood to talk about his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) contract negotiations ahead of Saturday’s regular season finale at Daytona.

Busch began his pre-race press conference by saying he had no update on the status of his contract for next season and the future. After a brief moment of silence, Busch was asked about his contract. He declined to answer, saying it wasn’t the place to start airing any “dirty laundry.”

What did I just say?” Busch said. “This is not the place to start airing dirty laundry. Trust me, in time, things will work out. Answering that question could either be positive for me or detrimental for me. It’s fair to say that I cannot answer those questions in here. I apologize. Or I don’t. Not sure which.”

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Contract Saga Continues

Busch’s future is uncertain as his deal with JGR expires at the end of the season. Busch, one of the highest-paid drivers in NASCAR, has indicated he’d be willing to take a pay cut to remain at JGR. He’s also on the search for another sponsor, as Mars Inc., his longtime sponsor, is pulling out of NASCAR after this season. Several brands under the Mars Inc. umbrella include M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers and Pedigree, all staples of Busch’s paint schemes over the years.

The 37-year-old 2015 and 2019 champion was far more open last weekend when asked about his contract. Busch said the process has been difficult, as it was 15 years ago when he departed Hendrick Motorsports for JGR.

“The first time I went through this was 15 years ago, and it was a learning experience. It was hard then too, but it was nothing like now,” Busch said. “Then it was just me, myself and I. I didn’t have Samantha [wife], I didn’t have a son. I didn’t have a daughter. All I had was an agent that was helping me.

“It’s way, way harder because now you have Kyle Busch Motorsports that you’ve got to think about, you’ve got a building that you’ve got to pay on, you know, you’ve got a building note and all that sort of stuff. So, there’s a lot of pieces and that’s why it’s not so simple.”

One thing we do know is that Busch is still a contracted JGR driver as of today. And there’s still plenty of season to be had. Busch has qualified for the playoffs by way of his lone victory at Bristol back in April. He will start in the 22nd position in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Saturday, looking to gain some positive momentum going into the playoffs.