NASCAR Champ ‘100% Open’ to Kyle Busch as a Teammate

Kevin Harvick

Getty A former NASCAR champ had strong words about Kyle Busch's contract.

With Kyle Busch still unsigned for the 2023 Cup Series season, there are questions about where he will race. No one has the answer, but Kevin Harvick would certainly welcome Busch as a teammate.

“I’d hire Kyle Busch today,” Harvick said, transcript courtesy of NASCAR Media. “Because he’d have a great impact on the performance of our team, and just the urgency to do some things better.”

A recent storyline that surfaced focused on the potential of Busch leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for another destination. He even revealed that he had talked to some other teams in the midst of ongoing negotiations.

Busch did not provide any details about the teams with which he had conversations, and no one knows if SHR is on the list. However, the 2014 Cup Series champion said that Busch would automatically make any team better. Harvick noted that they would race each other and be mad at each other but added that Busch would help all of the Ford Mustangs run faster.

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Busch Addressed Some Lingering Questions

Kyle Busch

GettyKyle Busch (left) addressed some lingering concerns about his negotiations.

There are numerous questions about the obstacle standing between Busch and a new deal heading toward the playoffs. The lack of a sponsor to replace Mars is one major concern, but Busch has also shut down the notion that money is at the top of his mind.

“I don’t think money has ever been the objective or ever been the issue,” Busch told media members on July 30. “Obviously, I know what the sports landscape is, I know what’s happening. The talk from my side was that I know there need to be concessions made and to race for under my market value, and I’ve accepted that and told everybody that and just trying to see where all that lies.”

Busch continued and reiterated that his primary goal is sticking with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Racing considering that he has been with them since the 2008 season. Though he has continued to talk to other teams to ensure that he won’t be left without a seat for the upcoming season.

Questions Remain About 3 SHR Drivers

Kevin Harvick

GettyChase Briscoe (left) has the only SHR win in 2022.

Busch is not the only driver with questions heading toward the end of the 2022 Cup Series season. SHR also needs to provide some updates about three of the drivers in its lineup.

Harvick has his spot guaranteed. He is under contract through the end of the 2023 season, and he previously explained multiple times that he would finish out his deal with SHR before examining his future.

“You’re part of the conversation of where the race tracks are going, where we’re racing, what we’re doing — short tracks, road courses — whatever it is,” Harvick explained during the November 30, 2021, episode of “The Dale Jr. Download.” “I think quitting in [2021] would have put you in this weird window for that. There were so many other things that were intriguing from a driver standpoint that it timed out better to talk about being done in [2023].”

Aric Almirola, for comparison, announced prior to the 2022 season that he would retire after one more full-time run. His initial plan was to vacate the No. 10 after the season finale, but he has since acknowledged that there have been thoughts about a potential return in 2023.

Chase Briscoe and Cole Custer round out the group of drivers. Briscoe has the organization’s only win in 2022, and he is currently part of the playoff field. Spotrac lists the driver of the No. 14 as a free agent after the 2022 season, but the expectation is that SHR will bring him back for another run.

Custer sits in the worst position of the group. He won Rookie of the Year in 2020 after winning at Kentucky and securing his spot in the playoffs. He finished the season with seven top-10s and two top-fives, but he has since only secured three total top-10s.

Like Briscoe, Custer will become a free agent at the end of the 2022 season. There is no guarantee that he will return to the No. 41 after dealing with struggles on the track, as well as mechanical issues that cut multiple races short.

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