Joe Gibbs said his organization worked hard to get a new deal done to keep two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch in the fold.
Gibbs made the comments on Sunday evening at the Charlotte Roval after winning the Bank of America Roval 400 with Christopher Bell. It was the first public comment Gibbs made about Busch other than the statement issued after Busch announced his signing with Richard Childress late last month.
“We talked to Kyle and just told him we’re really pulling for him and [wife] Sam and the family,” said Gibbs. “The rest of his racing career – this guy is going to win a bunch. We know that. He’s a great competitor.”
Busch will depart Joe Gibbs Racing as one of its most successful drivers. It will end a 15-year partnership that netted the two sides a pair of Cup Series championships in 2015 and ’19 (also the firsts for Toyota) and 56 wins to date.
But it is a departure that most likely would never have happened had longtime sponsor Mars Inc. not decided to end its time in the sport. Mars informed Gibbs in the summer of 2021 of its intention to exit the sport after its current deal was done.
Mars and its various brands have been the primary sponsor of the No.18 car since Busch arrived at Gibbs in 2008. It’s been one of the most recognizable cars in NASCAR for decades. Gibbs could not find a partner – or multiple partners – to fill the void and the financial support needed to keep Busch.
“When you think about it with us, 15 years, that was awesome,” Gibbs continued. “I just really appreciate that so much. We know Mars is leaving, but that was a thrill to be with them for that amount of time.
“I just think we worked hard trying to get everything done there. We couldn’t. I think he’s found a home, and I’ll be willing to bet he’s going to be after it next year, and he’s going to want to win a bunch of races.”