Another race weekend, another opportunity to speculate about where Kyle Busch is going to end up next season. Recently, Busch’s current status as a free agent for 2023 has been the buzz of the NASCAR world. While Joe Gibbs Racing – the organization Busch has competed for since 2008 – continues to work to find primary sponsorship for the two-time Cup Series champion, it’s looking more and more like Busch may need to find a new home in 2023. If he does, where will it be? Or will JGR be able to come through with a sponsor and a contract for Busch in the ninth hour? Or will JGR find a way to keep Busch for another season even if a replacement for Busch’s outgoing sponsor can’t be found?
These are the questions everyone is asking Busch and representatives from Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing just about every weekend, so they’re likely to continue this weekend at Michigan – especially when you consider that there’s no track on the schedule where manufacturer ties run deeper. MIS, located in Brooklyn, Michigan, isn’t far from Dearborn (the home base for Ford Motor Company) and Detroit (the home base for General Motors, parent company of Chevrolet). If a Chevy or Ford team wants to make Busch an offer, why not do it at Michigan – the track on the schedule where manufacturer pride runs deeper than all others?
Also unsettled for 2023 are the plans of Aric Almirola and Kyle’s older brother, Kurt Busch. While Almirola announced before the season began that he would retire at season’s end, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has recently left the door open to a possible change of heart. Kurt Busch, meanwhile, has missed the last two races while dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion suffered in a qualifying crash at Pocono. This has led some to question whether he will forgo the final season of his contract with 23XI Racing and decide to retire early.