Joe Gibbs, Toyota react to departure of Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch will drive for Richard Childress Racing in a Chevrolet after 15-years in a Toyota

Kyle Busch is a 60-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series. With 634 starts, it’s an astounding win percentage near 10%.

However, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota have been on a high horsepower search for a new sponsor of the No. 18 car, for about a year. As MARS Incorporated leaves the sport, Kyle Busch needed a new sponsor in order to resign with the team.

MARS Incorporated to end NASCAR partnership

Busch’s JGR contract was set to expire at the end of this season. Yet, JGR was unable to locate a new sponsor and that sent Busch into free agency.

Several months ago, Busch read the writing on the wall and began speaking to other NASCAR teams in search of a new contract. A call from Austin Dillon led to a meeting with Richard Childress.

This week, the new deal was announced. Kyle Busch will drive the No. 8 car for RCR in 2023. It marks a shift from Toyota to Chevrolet for the 2-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Kyle Busch to race for NASCAR team Richard Childress Racing in 2023

Joe Gibbs comments

Busch spent 15 years at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Kyle has been a major part of our history and success here at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Gibbs said in a statement.

“We are thankful for all his contributions to our organization over the years. When you look at all that he has accomplished already, it is truly remarkable, and we know someday we will be celebrating his Hall of Fame induction.”

Gibbs added, “We also know he still has many more achievements in our sport ahead of him including competing for the championship this season. We wish Kyle, Samantha, Brexton, and Lennix the very best.”

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Toyota comments

Kyle Busch blows an engine - Darlington Raceway - NASCAR Cup Series
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 04: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, drives after the engine expires during the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 04, 2022 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Toyota pulled out all the tricks to try and keep Busch at the top their driver pipeline. However, like Kyle Larson, they’ve lost another champion driver.

“Toyota and TRD are privileged to have raced with Kyle Busch, one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history,” Wilson said in a statement.

“While we certainly wish Kyle the best of luck in the future and congratulate him on his announcement to join Richard Childress Racing, we’re disappointed and saddened that his future won’t continue to be with Team Toyota.”

“Kyle has been an ambassador for Toyota since joining the program in 2008,” Wilson continued.

“He’s gone on to accumulate some of the most prestigious milestones possible for the Toyota brand, including our first Cup Series win for the Camry and first Cup Series championship. He will undoubtedly hold the record for the most wins in a Toyota across all three Championship Series for decades to come.

“But more than that, Kyle has been a friend, part of our family and has played a key role in the development of many of our drivers through his ownership of Kyle Busch Motorsports. We wish nothing but the best for Kyle and his entire family as he moves into the next chapter of his Hall of Fame career.”

Wilson concluded, “We’re thankful to have been along for the ride.”

Kyle Busch and team owner Joe Gibbs have awkward exchange (Video)


Kyle Busch | Joe Gibbs Racing | Tyler Reddick | Richard Childress Racing | 23XI Racing | NASCAR