The case for two landing spots for NASCAR champion Kyle Busch in 2023

The long-running saga surrounding Toyota driver Kyle Busch’s upcoming NASCAR Cup Series trip could come to an end this weekend. Maybe.

Very maybe.

Nine days ago, Toyota Racing Development leader David Wilson said there could be a resolution to Busch’s question “within seven to 10 days.” After 15 years, 56 wins and two Cup titles with Joe Gibbs Racing, the company hasn’t found a suitable new sponsor for Busch and his No. 18 M&M Mars Toyota. JGR’s lineup for 2023 appears to be set with Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell leaving one seat available.

It is now almost certain that Busch will leave JGR after this season. The biggest question of the year remains, where he goes? If recent speculation means anything, including a strong hint from Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Twitter, Richard Childress Racing and Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing are the co-favorites in this weekend’s three-race schedule at Kansas Speedway. .

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Team owner Richard Childress has already signed his grandson, Austin Dillon, to continue on his two-car Chevrolet team. His teammate Tyler Reddick is committed to the No. 8 RCR Chevrolet for next year, but has already signed with 23XI Racing for 2024. It’s no secret that an absolutely furious Childress doesn’t want Reddick around for a season. 2023 unconvincing. (If he says otherwise, check to see if he has his fingers crossed behind his back.) If all the contracts can be cleared, there is definitely a place for Busch at No. 8 in RCR.

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Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing has a spot available. Or if? Bubba Wallace is ready for the foreseeable future in the No. 23 Toyota, but the status of teammate Kurt Busch remains murky. The former champion was injured during a crash at Pocono in July and has missed the past seven races with concussion-like symptoms.

Full-time Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs has been replacing Busch’s old car, but he isn’t considered a viable full-time replacement as he will almost certainly replace Kyle Busch when the No. 18 car becomes available. Whatever the details, it’s a fact that Gibbs won’t be getting the same kind of salary JGR was paying Kyle Busch. Of course… you get what you pay for.

It has been suggested that Kyle Busch could move to 23XI Racing to replace his older brother. Some NASCAR insiders are hoping Kurt Busch’s concussions will sideline him for the rest of this season. Others think that at age 45 and with an invitation to the Hall of Fame awaiting him, his NASCAR career may be over. Busch says he wants to get back to racing as soon as he’s medically cleared, either this year or next.

Chevrolet-based Kaulig Racing was once thought to be a strong bidder for Kyle Busch, but that speculation appears to have faded. Plus… Kyle to 23XI Racing would make it easier for Kyle Busch Motorsports to enjoy TRD’s continued support for its Truck Series program.

Busy weekend in Kansas

More details about next year’s All-Star race at North Wilkesboro Speedway will be the talk of the busy weekend at Kansas Speedway.

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The Camping World Truck Series has a 134-lap, 200-mile race on Friday night, the Xfinity Series has a 200-lap, 300-mile race on Saturday afternoon, and the Cup Series has a 267-lap race and 400 miles on Sunday afternoon at 3.

The Hollywood Casino 400 is the second of three races in Round 1 of four rounds of the Championship Playoff Series. By finishing fourth last weekend at Darlington, former champion Joey Logano takes a six-point lead over William Byron at Kansas. Hamlin, Bell, Reddick, winless Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain are 1-8 in the standings.

Regular season champion and four-time 22 winner Chase Elliott is ninth, followed by Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Austin Cindric, Dillon, Chase Briscoe and former champion Kevin Harvick are 9-16. The tour is in Bristol, Tennessee on September 16-17 for the third and final race of Round 1.

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