HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — As was widely reported two weeks ago, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch has re-signed with Joe Gibbs Racing.
The long-term deal announced Thursday at the JGR shop, the final stop on the Sprint Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway, contains provisions that govern Busch’s participation in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and have positive implications for the driver’s own Kyle Busch Motorsports operation.
As the extension is structured, Busch will continue to drive the No. 18 JGR Toyota in the Cup Series under terms that were not disclosed. The No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, which KBM fielded in the Nationwide Series last year, will become part of the Gibbs operation, with Busch as driver for approximately 25 races.
KBM will run the No. 77 Toyota for Parker Kligerman in the Nationwide Series, as well as a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck entry for Joey Coulter. Busch will compete in approximately 10 races in the Truck Series in his No. 51 Toyota.
Busch will get engines from JGR for his Nationwide and Truck teams. That’s a change from Triad Racing Technologies, which supplied the KBM teams with engines last season.
Busch had looked at other options but decided to remain with JGR, despite narrowly missing the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2012.
“You look more towards the positive things, what these guys have been working on here and what Toyota’s been working on for us behind the scenes, and what we feel like we can do (going) forward to win races,” Busch said Thursday at the JGR shop.
“There was a time where it was very, very tough, where it became ‘D day,’ and you’ve got to make a decision. It was a very, very tough decision, and it was because you know that, if you venture off to do something different, then all the hurt and everything else is going to go on through that. That wasn’t the main reasoning of staying, but just the relationships I’ve had here over the time, it just made sense to keep going.”