Kyle Busch officially announced on September 13 that he will be transferring to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 Cup Series. As it turns out, this was a possible move by Austin Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childers.
Childress revealed this information during the press conference. He told members of the media that it was Dillon who approached him about trying to sign with Bush. Then the driver of Car No. 3 met with the media and presented his side of the story.
“He made a phone call, and I said, ‘Hey, how’s it going? “We just started BS’ing a little bit about his options and stuff,” Dillon explained in a video Photo by Bob Bocras from FOX Sports. “I said, ‘How about coming to drive in RCR?'” ‘ He said, ‘Heh, do you think your grandfather wants me?’
“And I’m like, ‘He just wants to win, man,’” Dillon continued. “He just wants to do well, and all of those things in the past are history. It doesn’t matter anymore. “
The date Dillon referred to was an incident at Kansas Speedway in 2011. After an incident on the track between Bush and RCR member Joey Coulter, Childress handed his watch to Dillon before going to the garage and engaging in a physical altercation with Bush. NASCAR responded by paying a $150,000 fine and placing Childress on probation.
Fast forward to 2022, and Childress joked about that infamous moment. He presented Bosch with a Rolex as a signature reward and asked, “Will you hold my watch?” It was a great start to an unexpected partnership.
Dillon explained why he went to the racket for Bush
On the surface, the decision to bring Busch to RCR made sense. He’s won the Cup Series twice and has 60 career victories, and he has the potential to make any car competitive.
There’s also another reason Dillon went bat for his new teammate, and one that’s been new information for many NASCAR fans. He and Bush raced against each other at the Xfinity Series during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, resulting in a surprise show.
“He pulled me aside in Nashville one time when he was starting his Xfinity team, and he offered me a job to pick him up and drive for,” Dillon explained. “He said, Are you interested in driving an Xfinity — or nationwide then — for me?
“And that kind of surprised me because I’ve always been known that the only reason I ride is because of my grandfather. So he was one of the only men who gave me a ride other than my grandfather, and I always remembered that about Kyle. Even with family matters, fighting, and all that.”
There was a lot of work left
The call from Dillon was just one step in the process. There were many other things to be completed before Bosch put his pen to paper and agreed to take over the #8 Chevrolet Camaro.
For example, Busch and Childress had to meet at Childress Vineyards and discuss their history and future. Dillon also had to discuss the matter with Torre Galida, president of RCR, and Mike Dillon, general manager of RCR.
All of these pieces fell into place, resulting in the big announcement. Now RCR and Busch will be preparing for a 2023 season that will inevitably be very surreal for hundreds – if not thousands – of NASCAR fans.
“I was kind of surprised, frankly,” Bush said of the call. “Richard and I, we’ve talked years past in passing, but when Austin reached out, I was like, OK, maybe we need to sit down and discuss something first. It was good. It was easy. It wasn’t a big deal when we did.”
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