NASCAR Cup Series
Kyle Busch Available to Run Indy 500 with Chevrolet Teams
Sep 13, 2022
Kyle Busch Motorsports will return to the NASCAR Truck Series as a Chevrolet operation in 2023 but there is much yet to be decided.
The most important thing to both Busch and Richard Childress this late in the summer was finalizing a contract for the two-time Cup Series champion to drive the No. 8 Camaro for next season and beyond, an agreement that also features support for the Truck Series operation and a driver development program.
To what shape that ultimately takes is still to be decided.
"The options in which that are kind of laid out on the table are definitely driver development drivers," Busch said. "There are some young kids in there. There are diversity of kids in there as well, too."
Chevrolet is currently part of the Driver’s Edge Development program spearheaded by JR Motorsports and GMS Racing. So now that Busch and Childress have finalized the Cup Series element of their agreement, they can now turn their attention to Chevrolet motorsports general manager Jim Campbell to come up with a course of action in the Truck Series.
"We’re still talking to Kyle about KBM," Campbell said. "In Trucks, we have two drivers that made the playoffs, one of them got washed out last week. We only have one left. We’ve got to be stronger in the Truck Series. Where that goes specifically with KBM, we’re still working on it."
What is for certain is that KBM will not receive the same level of support from Chevrolet as it did from Toyota, which really placed a premium on using the team and division as a vital development apparatus.
"It definitely won't be the same as what we got from Toyota, but there will be some factory support," Busch said. "Yes."
To wit, it is just so early in this new partnership to know to what shape Kyle Busch Motorsports will take in the Truck Series moving forward. Its current slate of drivers, Chandler Smith, Corey Heim and John Hunter Nemechek are all Toyota contracted racers.
Busch currently shares the No. 51 Truck with Heim.
"There are options on the table for us to be as many as two, three or four trucks for next year," Busch said. "So, it's just a matter of being able to put all those pieces together and show Chevrolet, what all that looks like.
"And then what the factory support from them looks like."
For historical reference, Richard Childress Racing was one of the original Truck Series teams, having fielded the No. 3 truck for Mike Skinner and Jay Sauter from 1996 to 1999 and again for Austin and Ty Dillon from 2009 to 2013.
Childress for his part, continued the theme of not having a lot to add this early in the partnership as well.
"I can’t say a whole lot about the Trucks just because I don’t know a whole lot about them right now," Childress said.
Busch has said a driving factor in his free agency has been ensuring that his 7-year-old son, Brexton, will be able to share a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck with his dad as a teenager before 'Rowdy' hits retirement.
"I've got six, seven, maybe eight more years if I play all this out perfectly," Busch said back in July. "Brexton and I we share a truck when he turns 16 years old when he's 16 and 17. And then it's his when he's 18. And I'm done. I'm out. You know what I mean? Like that's the perfect play. And so, if I can align all of that, you know, the runway does exist for a Busch.
"Obviously he's pretty talented. He wins a lot. He wins more than I do. I hear about it every day. So the runway for him, if you want to look at it that way is 30 years plus so you know he can he can carry on this legacy a hell of a lot longer than I will."
As part of the press conference on Tuesday, Childress offered the young Busch a contract with first right of refusal.
Is he serious?
"You’ve got to ask him," Busch said.
"Sure, I’m serious."
"Richard has first rights."
But that journey would surely start with Kyle Busch Motorsports in a Late Model and then the Truck Series -- both now badged with the Chevrolet bowtie.