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Final prediction on Kyle Busch’s landing spot in 2023

Kyle Busch's landing spot for the 2023 season is bound to come out soon and it's time to make a final prediction. Who will Busch be driving for next season?

Austin Konenski
Kyle Busch
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Busch is still looking for his official seat in the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2023 season and with it now halfway through August, it could be released at any point in time.

Who is Busch going to drive for next season and what makes the most sense?

Why are Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing at this point?

It is hard to believe that Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing are at this point. Keep in mind, a lot needed to happen for there to even be a possibility of the driver leaving the organization.

Busch, 37, is a two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who has been sponsored by Mars for countless years; however, the inability to find sponsorship has put the situation in jeopardy.

A deal for Oracle fell through earlier in the year and there is obviously still work to be done on the front. While it is disappointing for both sides, Busch’s performances as of late are coming at the worst possible time.

Busch has been scuffling as he only has three top-15 finishes in the last nine races with arguably the best organization in the Cup Series at the moment.

Related: Evaluating Kyle Busch’s best options

Meanwhile, Busch’s potential replacement Ty Gibbs has been decent in his four starts. It has not been pretty for the 37-year-old driver while he continues the negotiation process.

Despite the performance and sponsorship issues, continuing the partnership for both sides remains the number one goal and if so, would it truly make sense to end it this early?

Busch has over five years of competitive driving left and maybe a crew chief change would help bolster his performances if he returns to Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 18 car.

As Daniel Suarez said, Joe Gibbs Racing has not done a great job on selling Busch to potential sponsors. There’s no reason the only multi-time champion in the sport should be dealing with these issues.

Toyota Racing will try every avenue to keep the driver as it makes the most sense. However, it won’t come without some competition as the driver tries to find a home.

Related: Latest developments on Kyle Busch’s free agency

Main contenders for Kyle Busch

NASCAR: Federated Auto Parts 400
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of Joe Gibbs Racing, there are a few contenders for Busch’s services. The main one might be Kaulig Racing but it’s certainly a situation for Busch to ponder.

It’s very obvious the equipment is not up to par compared to Joe Gibbs Racing and he would likely throw away some, if not all, of his competitive years remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series.

However, long-term security and a larger contract would likely be a big draw as Busch looks to not go through a process like this again due to a multitude of reasons.

Related: NASCAR TV ratings

If Chevrolet truly wants Busch within the program, it could also snatch up Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series as the manufacturer’s presence is fairly weak compared to Toyota.

What about another organization in Chevrolet that should be vying for Busch? Hendrick Motorsports should be talking to the 37-year-old driver trying to bring him back home but there has been little noise.

If it’s not Joe Gibbs Racing, it should be Hendrick Motorsports if Busch truly wants to compete in the near or same level equipment on a full-time basis next season and beyond.

It might be as simple as Hendrick Motorsports not wanting to acquire Busch due to sponsorship but a full season sponsorship is already within the organization with Ally Financial.

Stewart-Haas Racing has been linked to Busch since the process started but it appears the possible partnership is beginning to fade despite lots of repetitive noise.

What about 23XI Racing? It would allow Busch to remain with Toyota long-term and would still give him elite equipment. Imagine the future trio of Busch, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace as teammates.

It would take some navigation, but it shouldn’t be unrealistic if Toyota Racing goes through every avenue to keep the two-time Cup Series champion.

At the end of the day, there are a few opportunities for Busch that make sense but none more than the final prediction that is below.

Prediction for 2023 landing spot

NASCAR: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Where will Kyle Busch be driving next season? It is the question that has been dominating the silly season soundwaves over the course of the 2022 season.

There are a few opportunities that make sense, but none are at the level of returning to Joe Gibbs Racing on a one-year contract to have further time to figure out the sponsorship woes.

It is in the best interest of everyone involved to work something out to keep Busch in the No. 18 Toyota. Sure, Kaulig Racing or 23XI Racing makes sense, but there’s no point for him to go anywhere.

Busch knows that no other organization will give him a better shot to win races and championships. There should be no hurry for Busch to find a contract with another organization.

The 37-year-old driver needs to talk to other organizations in the preparation for a nuclear-type disaster in negotiation talks. However, it doesn’t mean Busch has one foot out of the door.

Ty Gibbs will be ready come the 2024 season and with Martin Truex Jr. severely pondering retirement, it makes sense the young driver will replace him in the No. 19 car eventually.

There is no rush to elevate Gibbs to the NASCAR Cup Series. It’s simply a backup plan in case Busch does not return to the No. 18 car. Plus, why wouldn’t he want to return? It’s obviously his number one destination.

The rumors will continue to fly until a solution is brought to the table. However, it only makes sense for Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Toyota to continue their collective partnership.