DAYTONA BEACH, Fla – Kyle Busch joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008. 47 of his 51 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories came in the No. 18 Toyota. In fact, Busch’s best years have come recently in winning the title in 2015 to go along with 22 wins alone in the last four years.
So, with the end of his contract coming up, why would he look elsewhere?
The answer – he’s not.
“We’re in discussions with JGR,” said Busch about his contract situation. “We’re talking. It’s all been agreed to. It’s just a matter of putting pen to paper. Yeah, we’re all good.”
We’ve seen this happen before, but I doubt Busch or JGR get away from one another. He’s still in the prime of his career and very much one of the top, if not the top, drivers in the sport.
But, Busch has been a stark proponent of the upcoming rules package. He thinks the new rules takes the skill away from the driver.
“I certainly wish we didn’t have to deal with those things, but I do understand that back in the ‘70s or ‘80s, they were at 500 to 600 horsepower,” said Busch. “Now we’re pushing 900, 950. I understand that we can go too fast. How fast is too fast, I don’t know. It’s all about throttle response and crispness of the engine.
“What we’ve already known and become accustomed to, now we’re taking a step back in time a little bit. I say all that because you have tapered spacers on trucks, and Xfinity and Cup cars. They’re all that way; we’re reducing horsepower across the board to slow these things down. The mechanical and aero grip of these things are so great, that at some tracks, you’re wide open. You’re able to cruise around by yourself and when you get in traffic, you’ve got the draft, which will play a role. There’s some interesting variables that are going to come out with this new package.
“When you have a guy that’s leading the race that’s out front by six seconds, it’s not exciting. I get and I understand where we’re going and what we’re doing. It’s just frustrating as a driver to know that’s what we’re doing and how we anticipate all the races kind of playing out at the 1.5-mile and above race tracks.”
Despite his indifference of this package, Busch does have faith in the interim NASCAR leadership. Its the way it should have always been.
“I think with (NASCAR president Steve) Phelps and (CEO) Jim (France), I think Jim has done a tremendous job of at least being around. He’s always carrying a pen. He’s always carrying notebook. He’s always taking notes. He’s always listening to people, talking to people. He’s in the garage area. He’s down in the trenches. He’s figuring it all out and trying to make some moves for the betterment of the sport and that’s what we all want.
“We want somebody that’s involved, that’s into this as much as we’re all into this and care about all of this. I think that we’ve seen some positive out of all that. Now whether or not Jim is a proponent of this car or not, I don’t know. I think that it’s for all of us to take with an understanding that we’ve got to get better and we’ve got to put on a show and do a good job of creating excitement that’s on the race track as well as the race tracks being able to create excitement around the race tracks and have a good time for the people that come to the events – to not just sit out in 95-degree weather with the sun beating down on them and watch a race. There’s more to life than that these days.”