Kyle Busch to Leave Joe Gibbs Racing for Richard Childress Racing

Kyle Busch to Leave Joe Gibbs Racing for Richard Childress Racing

The wait is over—Kyle Busch confirmed where he will be competing next season. 

The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion confirmed that he will be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing and joining Richard Childress Racing in 2023. 

“This process took a lot longer than I expected it to, but this was one of the most important decisions of my life and I definitely couldn’t rush through it,” Busch said at a Tuesday morning press conference. “I had to find a place where I knew I could go win races immediately. Collecting trophies is still the main reason why I get up everyday and go to the racetrack. I also needed a place where I felt like I could hit reset and I could be welcomed just as I am… At the end of the day, one team and one owner emerged as the clear choice.

“I’m excited to announced that I will be taking my talents to Welcome, North Carolina to drive the No. 8 car for Richard Childress Racing starting in 2023.” 

The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi first reported the move on Saturday, and Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass reported shortly after that Busch and RCR were “in deep negotiations” and the team “began the process of notifying sponsors Friday.” When asked if he was heading to RCR, Busch said Saturday, “I do not have any new news to share. If I did, I guarantee you there would be some sort of big announcement. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been one of those yet.

“So we’re still working on it behind the scenes trying to put it all together. It’s not done.”

Well, Busch decided to tease the long-awaited contract on Sunday with a simple tweet saying “Tuesday” and a graphic attached that read “Announcement is coming” above “9.13.22.”

The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has been a part of Joe Gibbs Racing for 15 years, but his future with the team went into limbo this season. Mars Inc., Busch’s sponsor, is leaving at the end of the 2022 campaign, and JGR reportedly has not found a replacement yet. Busch, though, previously stated that he would take a reduced salary and race for under “market value” if it meant he could remain with his long-time team.

Toyota was keen on keeping him in the family. 

“We’d be foolish not to put everything in play to keep him in the family,” Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said to Fox Sports last month. “That’s what we continue to do. … This is not just an offensive consideration.

“I don’t want to race against a pissed off Kyle Busch. Wherever he lands, he’s going to do some damage.”

Sports Business Journal recently reported that two front-runners had emerged—RCR and 23XI Racing. RCR is a two car team with Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick, the latter of which will remain with with RCR, despite getting pulled from the No. 8 car in favor of Busch, according to an official press release from the team. It remains unclear what Reddick’s role will be with the team moving forward.

A day before his race at Watkins Glen International in August, Busch discussed how the lack of not having a contract had been “hard as hell” and “a lot of sleepless nights” about his future.

“I’ve been trying to do other business projects and things like that, but none of them have really blown up and taken off,” Busch told Dustin Long of NBC Sports. “So, it has been hard and figuring out all of that is certainly tough.”

More Racing Coverage:

Read More