Kyle Busch was the reason behind one of NASCAR's biggest silly season headlines in 2022. The long-time Joe Gibbs Racing driver made waves in the sport after leaving the team led by Coach Gibbs to move to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 Cup Series season.
After driving for the Toyota-backed JGR team for over 15 years that spanned 53 victories for the Las Vegas, Nevada native along with two championships, Busch and JGR decided to part ways as their long-time relationship hit a rough patch that neither expected to last as long as it did. In a rather public break-up with his former team, both "Rowdy Busch," as his fans like to call him, and JGR were often seen having somewhat fallen out of love with each other, primarily over issues of sponsorship for the #18 Toyota Camry TRD driver's future.
The fallout started as a result of M&M's, a popular confectionary brand, and Kyle Busch's primary sponsor pulling out of the sport. Due to Busch's perceived nature on and off the track, it was difficult to bring in another sponsor for the driver, as per reports.
Moving on to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 season, Kyle Busch finds himself outside his comfort zone in the sport, with Coach Gibbs' grandson and 2022 Xfinity champion Ty Gibbs replacing him at JGR. With the performances both his former and new team have shown over the 2022 season, it seems like Busch is in a position to gain more than his former team in 2023.
How can Kyle Busch haunt his former team in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season?
With Ty Gibbs filling in for an injured Kurt Busch in the 2022 season, the future Joe Gibbs Racing driver has 15 extra races to boost his experience coming into the sport in 2023. With him finishing at an average of 22.9 in these 15 appearances, Gibbs will be on a steep learning curve despite his early start. Coupled with the lack of extraordinary performances from the team over the last couple of years, this could mean trouble for JGR in 2023.
Richard Childress Racing, on the other hand, has been on an upward trajectory after being behind the sport's top-most teams for a few seasons with 4 wins last year. Coupled with a fiery natural talent like Kyle Busch, RCR could be onto something in 2023.
It remains to be seen how well 37-year-old Kyle Busch will adapt to a new environment in the sport this year. One thing is for sure, the fans are in for a treat if he does manage to get on top of a new Chevrolet racecar, taking the fight to his old team in a typical Kyle Busch manner.