Kevin Harvick says Kyle Busch comments are ‘kick in the teeth’ to RCR

It's clearly not working out but the two-time champion would need to be bought out of his 2025 contract

NASCAR: NASCAR Cup Series at Iowa
Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Busch appears locked into Richard Childress Racing through 2025 but it’s obviously not going the right direction and the public-facing comments from the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion isn’t going to inspire confidence.

When asked about his availability and contractual status over the weekend at Iowa Speedway, Busch said he would be open to making a move to a traditional power but conceded it’s more likely than not he remains in the No. 8.

This is all a byproduct of Martin Truex Jr. announcing his retirement at the end of the season, even though that seat is expected to go to Chase Briscoe next season.

“I would say anything is possible, always,” Busch said. “Certainly, if I was welcomed I would go back, if Hendrick (Motorsports) welcomed me back I’d go back. But right now, I’m at RCR with my group of guys and the deal I have right now in place. So, we’re trying to work and build this program and make RCR great again.”

Busch won three times early last season, his first since joining Childress following a wildly successful 15 season stint at Joe Gibbs Racing, one that only ended due to a combination of a sponsorship shortage and the emergence of Ty Gibbs as a prospect.

Busch disputed how much JGR wanted him back, or even efforted a sponsorship pursuit, and he ended up leaving for Childress. Now, Busch is in the longest winless streak of his career and is at risk of not even making the Cup Series playoffs this season.

Cup Series veteran Kevin Harvick, who is now a television analyst and podcast pundit, says Busch is playing a dangerous game in even opening the door to his status and what that does for the entire RCR organization trying to build around him.

“Yeah well, to me, a message like that just opens Pandora’s box, to letting all of us critique, criticize, speculate what that means,” Harvick said, via his Harvick’s Happy Hour show. “But I can see thinking that, but I don’t know why you would say that, unless you were not happy with the deal that you have. Opening the door to a Joe Gibbs conversation, or a Hendrick conversation, and knowing, I think he said at the end of that, he has another year on his deal at RCR.

“Man, that’s just like a kick in the teeth, to the guys and the gals that are working on your car, right? To not be committed 100 percent in your answer to the team that you’re driving for, unless you were looking for a way out. That’s how I took it, because I don’t know why you would say that, if you were happy and wanted to work through the scenario that you have.

“So that comment to me totally blows the door open for speculation, and all of us speculating on what happens with Kyle Busch, where he’s at with RCR, what the scenario is with RCR. It’s been a tough stretch for the No. 8 car and everybody on that team, with everything that they’ve had go wrong, and now you’ve got those comments. And sure, he might’ve just been — I don’t know. It seems to me like he’s just throwing it out there, to see what the options are on the table.”

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