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Racing

Why is Kyle Busch looking for other options outside of NASCAR for next season?

Kyle Busch is in the final year of his deal as driver of the No. 18 Toyota, and the search for a replacement sponsor continues.

Update:
Kyle Busch is in the final year of his deal as driver of the No. 18 Toyota, and the search for a replacement sponsor continues.
Tim NwachukwuAFP

Kyle Busch, the highest-paid driver in the world, has driven for Joe Gibbs Racing since 2008, and now his contract with them is approaching its end.

M&M Mars, the primary sponsor of the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion since he joined JGR, is also concluding at the end of 2022, as they are pulling out of NASCAR. This leaves the 2015 and 2019 NASCAR champion without a contract, without his longtime sponsor, and without the car he’s wheeled to 56 out of 60 NASCAR Cup Series victories, the No. 18 Toyota.

That’s why the racing world is trying to wrap their heads around why Busch is looking for options outside of NASCAR next season.

Both JGR and Toyota Racing Development have shown interest in keeping Busch at JGR, but no deal has been signed yet. JGR executives have made it clear for months that the only setback they have for a new Busch contract is sponsorship, even though the team started their search for a new primary sponsor to hop on the No. 18 Toyota for 2023 as soon as M&M Mars made its announcement of ending its relationship back in December.

Busch willing to make ‘concessions’

Busch has even made it clear that he may have to make sacrifices to stay with Gibbs and ensure he still has a Cup ride next season.

“You talk about what you want, and I think you are insinuating that I’m asking for the sky on salary or something like that, and I’ve already admitted I’m willing to take concessions,” Busch said. “I feel like the market is different than what it was years ago, and I’m willing to race for under my market value.

Busch is talking to other NASCAR teams

Even though it’s been seven months since the tables suddenly turned, Busch remains eager to stay in the No. 18 Toyota,it doesn’t matter how soon or how late it gets done,” Busch told NASCAR reporter, Bob Pockrass.

“Until there’s an announcement that somebody else is driving the No. 18 car, then I feel like I still have a seat.”

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