CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 28: Kyle Busch, driver of # 18 M & M’s Red White and Blue Toyota, drives during the qualification for the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 28, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images) | Getty pictures
UPDATE 2: While Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing are still committed to signing Kyle Busch to a contract extension, a Toyota boss told NBC Sports that they are “contingency planning”.
David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, said the manufacturer and JGR “are trying to find a way” to keep the two-time cup champion with them – Busch’s home since 2008.
“If there is no sponsorship there, maybe we can make a bridge somewhere,” Wilson said.
The problem for Joe Gibbs Racing is that it has not been able to secure sponsorship for Busch next season. Until that is done, the organization will probably not sign Busch to a new agreement.
A potential sponsor dropped out earlier and reset the sponsorship search. Wilson said there have been talks with “a number of sponsors.”
– NBC Sports –
UPDATE 17.07.2022: Kyle Busch said on Saturday that there is no set deadline for cementing a potential return to Joe Gibbs Racing next season, adding that he has had talks with other teams.
“I mean, it would be nice sooner rather than later, but honestly, it does not matter how fast or how late it is done,” Busch said before the Cup Series qualifier on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “Until there is an announcement that someone else is driving the 18-car, I feel like I still have a seat.”
Toyota made a big splash earlier this week with the signing of Tyler Reddick to 23XI Racing, a JGR-affiliated company, for the 2024 season. Busch made sure that this addition to the Toyota camp would affect his negotiations, but admitted that he has talked to other teams.
“The short answer is yes,” Busch said. “But you know, yes, anything is possible. There are all sorts of different things that can play out. It’s just a matter of what makes it happen. “
– NASCAR.com –
ORIGINAL POST 7-7-2022: Dave Alpern, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, did not say a word: The team intends to have Kyle Busch back in Toyota No. 18 for the 2023 Cup Series season with Ty Gibbs back in the Xfinity Series.
What disrupts these plans is the lack of signed contracts midway through the 2022 season.
Busch, the only active multi-time Cup champion on the circuit, will lose longtime sponsor Mars, Inc. at the end of the season. In a conference call on Thursday, Alpern noted that the search for the two-time title list replacement sponsor is still ongoing.
“We have been quite consistent since the end of last season, that is, we want Kyle to be in the (No.) 18 car, and that is our plan,” said Alpern. “We are still working on sponsorship, and as much interest as there is in our sport, these take a long time. And admittedly, this takes a little longer than we thought. It is not due to lack of interest. Just try to get it all. So they will probably happen in parallel. And again, these would mean that you have to spend for these processes. “