Kyle Busch announced on September 13 that he had signed a multi-year contract with Richard Childress Racing. There is no clear answer about how this move will work out, but a fellow NASCAR champion expects some very strong runs.
Joey Logano, who had his own departure from Joe Gibbs Racing earlier in his career, made the prediction during an episode of “Stacking Pennies with Corey LaJoie.” He explained that Busch should be competitive in the No. 8 car considering both his abilities and the work that Tyler Reddick put in while driving that same car. Logano also indicated that Busch will have some extra motivation as he kicks off the 2023 season.
“I would think that he would be fine, right? I mean, look at what Reddick is doing in the 8 over there,” Logano said. “He put it on the pin this week, he goes fast. I think Kyle is going to add a lot to it. Kyle’s… he’s smart. He’s a smart race car driver. He’s able to — I think — probably add a lot to that race team.
“Obviously, Kyle has different sides to him and different things as well, but I think he’s going to be able to bring something to that team. He’s obviously going to want to… he’s probably going to have a little chip on his shoulder. You got let go from one place, and you go somewhere else, well you want to show up. You want to get to Daytona and show them what’s up.”
Logano Can Relate to Busch’s Situation
There aren’t many people that can relate to the stress that Busch has faced during the past several months. Logano is one of the few considering that he also lost a spot at Joe Gibbs Racing. Though the 2018 Cup Series champion acknowledged that there was one big difference in that he lost his seat due to a lack of performance on the track.
Where Logano can truly relate is how the rest of the year will play out. He knows from personal experience that Busch will not be as involved in competition meetings and tests while closing out his remaining schedule.
“Now you have this — I don’t want to call it a lame duck year — but it’s like a weird environment at Gibbs,” Logano said. “Because now you’re working at a place where they are viewing you as, ‘Yeah, we want to win with you, but you’re also a competitor of ours next year and we don’t want to show you anything anymore.’
“So now if there was [sic] any tests, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be doing any of those. He’s not going to be in any meetings anymore. That’s what happened to me. They had a conversation, and it’s completely understandable. It’s, ‘Hey, why are we going to give you everything and let you take it down the road to RCR?'”
The Distraction Factor is Significant
There have been numerous discussions during the 2022 season about Busch, his contract negotiations, and the effect on both his on-track performance and his life at home.
As Logano explained during the podcast appearance, the distraction factor is significant. He said that Busch only has 100% that he can dedicate to any given day. Having to deal with the contract negotiations only takes away a portion of his energy.
Now that he has a deal in place, Busch can focus more on pursuing his third career championship. Though some of his attention will still go toward finalizing all of the details for Kyle Busch Motorsports, the driver and sponsor lineup, and the Truck Series team’s move to the Chevrolet camp in 2023.