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September 1, 2022

Stress of multiple contract options weighs on Kyle Busch: ‘Time is a-ticking’

Kyle Busch speaks with reporters during NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Day at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Jared C. Tilton
Getty Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kyle Busch acknowledged on Thursday that he has more than one contract offer on the table but making a decision about his future as a driver has complicated his life as the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff approaches.

“I was hoping yesterday,” Busch said when asked when he might have a deal to announce. “I’m not going to put a timeline on it, but time is a-ticking, and there are a lot of other options and a lot of other dominoes that need to fall.”

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An elite driver with 60 Cup victories and two series titles to his credit, Busch clearly has options.

“More than one that has paper in front of me,” he acknowledged.

But the process has been anything but comfortable.

“Trust me, my gut doesn’t feel good, and that’s not just for decisions being made, but more so of decisions being weighed and the perception in how you come across to all of those that you’re going to disappoint. Right?

“There’s going to be one winner, and the rest are not winners, if you look at it in that regard. Good for me, but I definitely don’t want to come across as a lead-on or a liar or anything like that, so that’s why it’s been touch and go, and tread lightly.”

Busch described his decision-making process as one of the toughest periods of his life, but he doesn’t think the stress of the negotiations will prevent him from winning a third championship with his current No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team.

“It weighs on you every day of the week,” Busch said. “I think the best thing that I have for me is experience in being able to go race on Sunday. I’m a racer. That’s all I know. So, when I get to the race track every weekend, I put my helmet on, and that’s what I focus on.

“Being by myself, I do my best work inside that car, so I don’t have to think about anything besides making that car go fast.”