NASCAR: Kyle Busch fired and Carl Edwards returning?

Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /

On this April Fools’ Day, let have a look back at some of Beyond the Flag’s top pranks from over the years, specifically on the NASCAR side.

Happy April Fools’ Day! It has been a while since we have joined other outlets, motorsports outlets included, in doing what they generally do by putting out a comically bizarre “news” story on April 1 each year, and that isn’t changing in 2023.

In fact, this is the fourth year in a row in which we haven’t done anything new. Things were a bit crazier and more serious in the spring of 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions, and that tradition came to an abrupt end.

Once again, instead of coming up with something new, let’s take a look back at Beyond the Flag’s top five NASCAR April Fools’ Day pranks from years past.

2014 NASCAR April Fools’ Day prank

This one involved Danica Patrick, who was competing for Stewart-Haas Racing at the time, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was competing for Roush Fenway Racing at the time.

Patrick and Stenhouse were dating by this point, and this one centered around the idea that they would not only be getting married but switching Cup Series teams once they tied the knot.

Interestingly, both drivers ended up with new teams, but they didn’t swap. Patrick spent one race with Premium Motorsports to close out here Cup Series career in the 2018 Daytona 500, and Stenhouse moved to JTG Daugherty Racing after the 2019 season.

The pair have been broken up for more than five years now, and Stenhouse actually got married to longtime girlfriend Madyson Joye Goodfleisch last year.

2015 NASCAR April Fools’ Day prank

Brian France is indeed out as NASCAR chairman CEO, but it didn’t happen on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — and it certainly wasn’t what you’d call a willful resignation.

After he was arrested for driving while intoxicated and for criminal possession of oxycodone, France was ousted in August 2018. Jim France, his uncle, took over from Brian amid the latter’s leave of absence, and he continues to serve in this role.

2016 NASCAR April Fools’ Day prank

Tony Stewart announced his impending NASCAR retirement in 2015, confirming that the 2016 season would be his last.

While he is still heavily involved in motorsports and he continues to compete in various racing series, he did not actually return for the 2017 Daytona 500. That being said, he did win the race for the first time as a team owner the first year after his retirement, with Kurt Busch taking the checkered flag.

Stewart has not made any Cup Series starts — or any NASCAR starts, for that matter — since 2016, and that likely won’t change.

2018 NASCAR April Fools’ Day prank

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were both competing for Joe Gibbs Racing at the time, and at this point, they were considered by much of the fanbase to be the two most disliked drivers in the sport.

However, they did not announce their sudden retirement in a “joint statement”, though Busch has since left Joe Gibbs Racing and joined Richard Childress Racing.

It is worth mentioning that “fake news” is literally what led Hamlin to start his 23XI Racing team with NBA legend Michael Jordan, though — and that wasn’t an April Fools’ Day prank.

2019 NASCAR April Fools’ Day pranks

Our most recent April Fools’ Day pranks took place in 2019, when we stated that Carl Edwards would be returning to the sport with Team Penske.

Team Penske would be adding a fourth car by completely taking over the historic Wood Brothers Racing team, with which they continue to have a technical alliance.

Wood Brothers Racing even had to let some fans know that it was April 1…

It seems like ever since Edwards made the surprising decision to retire before the 2017 season, fans have been speculating that he will return. More than six years later, he still hasn’t. And that isn’t changing today, or anytime soon.

We also stated that Kyle Busch had been fired by Joe Gibbs Racing because he had won the Truck Series and Xfinity Series races at Texas Motor Speedway the prior weekend, but he was unable to win the Cup Series race at the track on that same weekend. Fake quotes from Busch and team owner Joe Gibbs were graciously provided.

Busch is no longer with Joe Gibbs Racing, but that certainly isn’t how — or why — it happened. After a brief “retirement” from the Xfinity Series, he is back to competing in all three series this year.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

He competes for his own Kyle Busch Motorsports team, now a Chevrolet team, in the Truck Series, Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series, and Richard Childress Racing in the Cup Series.