One of NASCAR’s most successful partnerships will end after the 2022 season. The Athletic newspaper reported That Kyle Busch would switch to Richard Childress Racing after 15 seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing, 56 wins and two championships.
Jordan Bianchi dropped the news on September 10 as the Xfinity Series drivers were preparing to take on Kansas Speedway. He said multiple sources have told The Athletic that Busch will indeed transfer to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 season. An announcement is expected on Tuesday, September 13th.
Bosch faced direct questions about a potential move to Richard Childress Racing on the morning of September 10. “I don’t have any new news to share,” Bush said while in the media. “If you do, I guarantee you there will be some kind of big announcement. … I’m still working on it behind the scenes trying to put it together. It’s not over.”
If this announcement is made on September 13th as expected, it will likely provide clarification regarding another organisation. Kyle Busch Motorsports, the most winning team in the Truck Series, is part of Toyota Racing Development. If Busch switches to RCR, it makes sense that KBM would switch to Chevrolet as well.
There are some key questions about this step
Busch’s departure from Joe Gibbs Racing has been a predictable move in recent weeks, but his joining Richard Childress Racing raises a few other questions. Specifically, will one of the top two teams expand for the 2023 season?
RCR currently has Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick on contract for the 2023 season. Reddick will move to 23XI Racing at the end of the year, but reiterated on September 10 that his plan is to stay at RCR and terminate his contract.
Similarly, 23XI Racing has two drivers under contract for 2023. Kurt Busch has the number 45 available to him for as long as he wants while Bubba Wallace has just signed a multi-year extension to stay in 23rd place.
There is a scenario where RCR can buy Reddick’s remaining contract so he can head to 23XI Racing one year in advance. However, Busch will either have to stay away from the competition full time, or Denny Hamlin will have to expand to three cars. He currently has only two charters.
RCR could also choose to expand to a third team for the 2023 season. Although they are in the same position as 23XI Racing. RCR will either have to purchase a charter to accommodate Busch, Dillon and Reddick, or the organization will have to run an all-season open entry.
Care also remains unknown
The number of seats available is the biggest concern in the RCR and 23 XI Racing with extension. However, there is another prominent question that needs to be answered before the 2023 Cup Series season.
According to Bianchi, the status of the bail is unclear. There are no details on whether RCR actually has a new sponsor lined up to support Busch as he returns to the Chevrolet camp.
The departure from Joe Gibbs Racing began when Mars, Inc. that they would leave NASCAR at the end of the 2022 season. Busch’s longtime primary partner left a big hole to fill, and JGR was unable to find a suitable replacement while simultaneously participating in contract negotiations with Busch.
RCR has several partners split between Dillon and Reddick. Will one of those move to Bosch when he joins the 2023 season, or will there be a new partner who jumps in and agrees to back the two-time Cup Series champion?
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