Although the NASCAR Cup Series season is not even a third of the way complete, “Silly Season” is already in full swing, thanks in large part to comments from Kyle Busch two weekends ago indicating that his driving plans for 2023 are far from settled. Busch, who has driven the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing since 2008, needs a new primary sponsor to re-sign with the organization where he’s won his two Cup championships, but it doesn’t appear that a new sponsor is ready to sign on the dotted line just yet.
Asked at Talladega about the current state of his contract negotiations, Busch told reporters to “ask Joe Gibbs” and went on to say that moving on from the organization at season’s end is well within the realm of possibility. Of course, if Busch and JGR are unable to come to terms on a new contract, it will set the “Silly Season” wheels in motion because JGR will likely need a new driver to fill Busch’s seat and Busch will likely attempt to find a ride elsewhere. As it currently stands, the only other top organization with an open seat for 2023 is Stewart-Haas Racing, thanks to the impending retirement of Aric Almirola at season’s end.
Although Busch’s future could remain in limbo for a while yet, just the possibility of him moving elsewhere for 2023 has created a major buzz in the Cup Series garage. Expect that to continue this weekend at Darlington and perhaps for weeks or even months to come.