Kyle Busch not distracted by ongoing contract work

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Kyle Busch not distracted by ongoing contract work

NASCAR

Kyle Busch not distracted by ongoing contract work

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Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch had no update on his future Saturday at Pocono Raceway other than to reiterate all parties are working hard to get a new deal done.

Busch needs a new contract with Gibbs in addition to longtime sponsor Mars departing the sport at the end of the season. Mars informed the organization of their plans last summer, giving everyone plenty of notice to prepare. A deal continues to be sought, and any news of potential new partners for Busch, who has been with Gibbs since 2008, has been quiet.

“We’re all working as hard as we can, obviously, and the goal hasn’t changed,” Busch said Saturday at Pocono Raceway. “That goal is for me to be able to continue at Joe Gibbs Racing with Toyota and have that chance to continue to race for wins and race for championships. That’s what everybody is striving for. That’s the first goal, and we’ll continue to try to push for that in the coming weeks.”

Busch has faced numerous questions about his status this season. Last weekend, he admitted to talking to other teams, although he’s routinely said his focus is remaining with Gibbs. In late April, he acknowledged it comes down to sponsorship and if his No. 18 doesn’t have the funding, he will not be driving.

“You’d like to be done,” Busch said of the situation. “But obviously, you have to weigh out everything that is in front of you and see what the best thing is, not only for myself…but for my family and, of course, [for] the KBM family.”

Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson told NBC Sports earlier this week that, “We’re in a bad place,” putting something together. Busch has been a star for the manufacturer, not only delivering them two Cup Series championships and 56 wins but 203 wins across the three national series.

Toyota is also a significant partner with Busch’s Camping World Truck Series teams. Kyle Busch Motorsports has become a development pipeline for the manufacturer.

“[The truck operation] doesn’t factor into discussions with Joe Gibbs Racing; it does factor into discussions with Toyota,” said Busch. “It definitely weighs on me a lot. We’ve got 50-something employees at Kyle Busch Motorsports on the Truck Series team and in the chassis shop, the body shop and the fab shop; everywhere.

“It’s important for me to continue to keep them in mind and their families to make sure we get something done that keeps all of that going. Again, it’s a topic of mind to keep that as much as we can and keep that place flourishing.”

Asked if his contract has become a distraction, Busch denied it affects him in the race car.

“When you’re behind the wheel and racing, you’re focused on that task and what that is,” he said. “You try to put that best foot forward and that chance to be able to go out there and score wins. Your best thing right now is to go out there and show everybody you can still do it that you can still win that you can still be competitive. If it was four weeks ago — we were talking about being second in points and chasing after a regular season championship.

“We went cold and somebody else [Chase Elliott] got hot. We’ve fallen far away from that right now, but we still want to make ourselves as high as we can in the points, get those reset points and be able to go chase for a championship.”

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