"I couldn’t even look at my car" - A sad Kyle Busch talks of his final outing as JGR driver

NASCAR Cup Series Championship - Practice
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Thank You Fans! Toyota, drives during sunset at the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 04, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The recently concluded NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway marked the end of Kyle Busch's tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing, where he has raced for the last 15 seasons and won two Cup Championships in 2015 and 2019. It was a major moment in his career and Busch talked about his successful career with Joe Gibbs Racing after a seventh-place finish in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

One of the toughest goodbyes came when the two-time Cup Series champion approached the yellow #18 Toyota Camry featuring a colorful mosaic tribute in its paint scheme. This was the last time he drove in the familiar M&M's/Mars livery that became his trademark over 15 seasons.

The end of an era. Thank u to Coach, everyone at JGR, the Mars Family, n Norm Miller. Things will look a bit different next yr, but I’ll always be appreciative of what we’ve accomplished n the relationships we’ve built over the past 15 yrs. (1/3)

Moments after the conclusion of the race, reporters caught up with Busch and asked about his specific emotions in his final outing as a JGR driver.

Busch said:

“I couldn’t even look at my car to begin with because it was the last time I’m gonna see it. It’s … it’s hard, man. It’s not easy. Just wish it wasn’t what it was or what it is, but I’m going to miss a lot of our fun folks that we got to spend a lot of time with over the years. Just look forward to new adventures.”

The Las Vegas, Nevada native will open up a new chapter in his racing career next season, joining Richard Childress Racing and taking over the #8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Kyle Busch gets emotional after demise of Coy Gibbs

Unfortunately, Kyle Busch’s already emotional day took off exponentially when he received the tragic news just before the race that Coy Gibbs, JGR’s vice chairman and chief operating officer, had died overnight at age 49.

Words can’t describe this day. Today was already going to be tough enough but it’s even more gut wrenching now. Heartbroken.

Speaking about Gibbs’ sudden death, Busch said:

“He was a lot like me. He didn’t take any bull—- and told everybody the way it was and straight to their face, you know. So, loved Coy for that, and for his tenacity. He took on a huge role in filling the shoes of his brother, and maybe a little bit more on the competition side than the business side in that respect. But he’s done nothing but try to push us all to go forward and to win races and be competitive and to be strong and all that. And so, honestly, that’s what I’ll remember most about him.”

Kyle Busch finished the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season in 13th place in the points standings with one win and eight top-five finishes.

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Edited by Anurag C
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