Rowdy is about to test his skills in a very different way. Kyle Busch will face off with Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, and Scott Speed among others while making his Nitro Rallycross debut and driving the #GoNitro car in Nitro RX’s Supercar class with sponsorship from ZipRecruiter.
DirtFish revealed the news on Wednesday, October 27, and confirmed that Busch will remain in Phoenix after the November 7 NASCAR Cup Series championship race and will prepare for this new challenge. He will enter the event at Phoenix’s Wild Horse Pass as a wildcard. DirtFish also revealed that this crossover has been in the works since at least the summer.
“Anybody that knows me knows that I’m a true racer and I’ve always prided myself in the ability to get behind the wheel of any type of vehicle at any type of track and be competitive,” Busch told DirtFish. “I’m pumped for the opportunity to go wheel-to-wheel with some of the best rallycross drivers from around the world in Nitro Rallycross at Wild Horse Pass.”
Nitro Rallycross Released a Hilarious Video Celebrating Busch’s Debut
While DirtFish provided some background for Busch’s Nitro Rallycross debut, the series’ Twitter account had some fun with an announcement video. The clip surfaced on social media on October 27 and confirmed that Busch will be part of Team Nitro.
The video started with footage from past Rallycross events and specifically focused on the crashes. Clips of Cartman from “South Park” yelling “Kyle!” popped up between each one.
The video finally showed Rowdy as he rode around on an ATV, and then it included some of the biggest moments from his NASCAR career. The two-time Cup Series champion stood atop his stock car waving a flag and then he did burnouts while NBC Sports announcer Rick Allen yelled, “Kyle Busch is going to sweep the Richmond races!”
Busch Is Not the First NASCAR Driver To Test Out Rallycross
While several drivers from NASCAR history have expressed interest in Rallycross and Rally events, not many have actually made the leap. For example, Kurt Busch headed to Italy in 2014 for the Rally di Monza.
The 2004 Cup Series champion competed in the non-champion Monza Rally Show while working with co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino. According to NBC Sports, the duo finished 32nd in Busch’s debut. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver also tested a rallycross Supercar at the Charlotte dirt track back in 2013.
Of course, the two most successful crossover drivers are Scott Speed and Steve Arpin, who both competed across national series before moving to Rallycross. Speed, in particular, made 118 Cup Series starts with one top-five finish, 29 Xfinity Series starts with nine top-10s, and 16 Truck Series starts with one win, nine top-fives, and 14 top-10s. Speed also won four races in the ARCA Menards Series.
Since moving to Rallycross, Speed has achieved several wins. He won the Rallycross event at the 2013 X Games and added Global Rallycross titles in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Speed also won the Americas Rallycross Championship in 2018.
Arpin, on the other hand, primarily competed in the Xfinity Series, Truck Series, and ARCA Menards Series. He posted two top-10 finishes in nine Xfinity starts, and a best finish of 12th in five Truck Series starts. Arpin also won three times with 11 top-fives and 21 top-10s in 42 ARCA Menards Series starts.
Arpin made his Global Rallycross debut in 2013 and has since made 54 starts with a variety of teams, including Chip Ganassi Racing. He won once for CGR, taking the checkered flag at the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona. He added two victories to his resume in 2017 after joining Loenbro Motorsports. He won the New England and Ottawa events.