Two recent promising developments for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing could finally end the speculation about their 2023 NASCAR Cup Series plans.
Kyle Busch has become a focal point of silly season, given his lack of a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. The impending departure of longtime primary sponsor M&M’s further complicates matters, as their absence will leave a massive hole to fill.
Busch, despite being a two-time series champion who leads active drivers with 60 career victories, has admitted that it could very well be “goodbye” from Joe Gibbs Racing — perhaps even the Cup Series as a whole — without landing a viable replacement sponsor.
But recent developments have Rowdy fans hopeful that an announcement on the 37-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native’s future might well be coming in the very near future.
About two weeks ago, Sports Business Journal‘s Adam Stern reported that Joe Gibbs Racing made an “unprecedented move” and hired Brand Activation Maximizer, the marketing agency owned by Tad Geschickter. Geschickter is a co-owner JTG Daugherty Racing, a Chevrolet team with no affiliation to the Toyota powerhouse.
According to the report, “advanced talks” with a “major tech company” on a one-year deal for the #18 Toyota have since taken place.
Busch’s name was not specifically used in the report as the would-be driver of the #18 Toyota in 2023. However, given the fact that Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota have made clear that they want Busch back, plus the fact that Busch would clearly like to be back, if at all possible, it’s quite challenging, if not impossible, to imagine discussions with a prospective sponsor becoming “advanced talks” if that sponsor isn’t willing to have Busch as their driver.
Additionally, team owner Joe Gibbs recently stated that the goal for his grandson, Ty Gibbs, is to run two full seasons in the Xfinity Series. Ty is in his first full season behind the wheel of the #54 Toyota for his grandfather’s team after running 18 of the 33 races on last year’s schedule.
He won four races last year and would have been a championship contender had he been playoff eligible; he did win last year’s ARCA Menards Series championship. So far this year, he has three wins in 13 Xfinity Series races.
After Busch made his cryptic comments about his uncertain future back in April at Talladega Superspeedway, Ty was seen as the obvious replacement candidate for Busch if the 2022 season were to really be his 15th and final year behind the wheel of the #18 Toyota.
But clearly Joe Gibbs Racing have no desire to rush the 19-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina native, and there are no indications that there will be a dire need for him to take over any potentially vacant Cup seats at the four-car team in 2023.