Kyle Busch is likely to join Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2023 season, according to Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern. It is not unexpected after rumors started to heat up over the last week.
Why is Busch likely on the move to Richard Childress Racing, what does this mean for Kyle Busch Motorsports and others, and what are the next possible moves in NASCAR silly season?
Kyle Busch’s likely move to Richard Childress Racing explained
No one could have reasonably predicted the idea of Busch possibly having a ride with Richard Childress Racing before the 2022 season started. It was fueled by a decision from Mars to leave the sport at the conclusion of the year.
There were many options available to the 37-year-old driver and there was a massive amount of work that needed to go on during the process. It’s certainly unexpected to see Busch likely move on from Joe Gibbs Racing.
Some of the other options during the process included 23XI Racing, Kaulig Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick Motorsports was thrown around but nothing came from it.
At the end of the day, a return to the No. 18 car for Joe Gibbs Racing made the most sense but it’s clear that is not the decision. It’s a failure from both sides to not continue this partnership moving forward if it was the number one goal.
23XI Racing did not have a spot for Busch if his brother Kurt Busch decided to return next season. Kaulig Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing went in different directions at the end of the process.
The move to Richard Childress Racing was the most realistic option if he were ever to leave Toyota Racing. The organization represents the best, realistic team for the Chevrolet camp in terms of competitive equipment pursuing Busch.
Plus, this is going to help Chevrolet in not only the Cup Series but also the NASCAR Truck Series as Busch’s organization will be poised to make a switch to the manufacturer.
NASCAR Truck Series: Impact on Kyle Busch Motorsports and others
Kyle Busch Motorsports currently fields Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, and Corey Heim as its drivers; however, most, if not all, of them are Toyota drivers and not drivers for the organization.
Therefore, if Kyle Busch Motorsports is going to switch to Chevrolet, it seems unlikely to see the drivers make the move too. Toyota Racing might need to increase support across its teams and find other landing spots.
It is going to be a massive, massive shift in the landscape of the series. Seven Toyota drivers made the playoffs compared to two Chevrolet drivers, and one Ford driver. Now, one of the Truck Series’ top organizations could move to Chevrolet.
Chevrolet would absolutely adore this move as it increases its presence in the series. The majority of its drivers struggled during the 2022 season after GMS Racing decreased its presence due to the NASCAR Cup Series program.
It is impossible to predict what might come next in the Truck Series. Who would be Kyle Busch Motorsports’ drivers as a Chevrolet team? It would be the top Chevrolet program in the series over GMS Racing.
The top prospects would likely make the move to the organization, which is similar to what has been done for years with Toyota Racing. It’s going to be very interesting to see who will join the team.
Plus, could a team like Hattori Racing receive more support from Toyota and snag its drivers that are left out of a ride due to Kyle Busch Motorsports’ move to Toyota? Who will become the top Toyota team now?
There are many questions that are going to be answered but all of them wil have solutions in due time.
Evaluating the next moves in 2023 NASCAR silly season
Busch’s move to Richard Childress Racing raises more questions than answers compared to if he were to return to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. Everything begins with what is next for Tyler Reddick.
Richard Childress has previously said he could add a third car for Busch but is there a possibility that it could not a charter? Childress could place Reddick in a third unchartered car as a consequence for the announcement.
If that doesn’t happen and Reddick is not in chartered entry, he could be out of a ride next season. Maybe, 23XI Racing could somehow find a way to bring him over earlier than initially planned.
As for the No. 18 car being left vacant at Joe Gibbs Racing, it almost certainly will be Ty Gibbs. It would not be a surprise after Gibbs has been susbstituting for Kurt Busch. Granted, it has not been fantastic, but expected for a young driver.
This opens the door for Sammy Smith to enter the NASCAR Xfinity Series program on a full-time basis. The new era of Joe Gibbs Racing is coming soon with Gibbs, Smith, and Christopher Bell representing the future after years of fielding an older driver lineup.
Now that it will likely be Richard Childress Racing for Busch, it appears that Kaulig Racing will be having announcunemts during Fan Day on October 5, which is in about one month. The organization is scheduled to have a “paint scheme unveil and a 2023 NASCAR Cup Series driver announcement.”
A.J. Allmendinger and Daniel Hemric seem like obvious candidates to fill the No. 16 car if it fields a full-time driver. Then, a gap will open in the Xfinity Series lineup that could see someone like Jeffrey Earnhardt fill the role moving forward.
Stewart-Haas Racing appears to have its lineup set on the NASCAR Cup Series side. The only question is whether Cole Custer remains in the No. 41 car or Ryan Preece takes over the ride. It makes more sense to keep Custer and give him another season.
On the Xfinity Series side, could Riley Herbst see himself land at JR Motorsports? The No. 9 car needs a driver with sponsorship and Herbst could be on the verge of winning a race with the speed and improve seen this season. If not, a return to Stewart-Haas Racing makes sense.
There will be many moves that come from Busch moving to Richard Childress Racing. It is a massive shift in the landscape of NASCAR but the speculation might be coming to an end soon.