While Kyle Busch celebrates his 2023 plans to head to Richard Childress Racing, the move also brings goodbyes from Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Busch will conclude his tenure with the manufacturer and team after 15 years together, a fruitful partnership for all parties after two Cup championships, 56 premier-level wins and numerous successes in the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series.
Joe Gibbs, the team owner who secured Busch ahead of the 2008 season from Hendrick Motorsports, offered his appreciation of the series’ lone active multi-time champion as the pairing comes to an end in November.
“Kyle has been a major part of our history and success here at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Gibbs said in a statement. “We are thankful for all his contributions to our organization over the years. When you look at all that he has accomplished already, it is truly remarkable, and we know someday we will be celebrating his Hall of Fame induction.
“We also know he still has many more achievements in our sport ahead of him including competing for the championship this season. We wish Kyle, Samantha, Brexton, and Lennix the very best.”
David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, praised Busch, who has been a critical part of Toyota’s stock-car success. But he also conceded the hole Busch leaves behind that the manufacturer seeks to fill.
“Toyota and TRD are privileged to have raced with Kyle Busch, one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history,” Wilson said in a statement. “While we certainly wish Kyle the best of luck in the future and congratulate him on his announcement to join Richard Childress Racing, we’re disappointed and saddened that his future won’t continue to be with Team Toyota.”
Busch also serves as team owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports, which fields three full-time entries in the Camping World Truck Series. Busch said Tuesday the team intends to compete in 2023 with backing from Chevrolet, but those plans have yet to be solidified.
“Kyle has been an ambassador for Toyota since joining the program in 2008,” Wilson continued. “He’s gone on to accumulate some of the most prestigious milestones possible for the Toyota brand, including our first Cup Series win for the Camry and first Cup Series championship. He will undoubtedly hold the record for the most wins in a Toyota across all three Championship Series for decades to come.
“But more than that, Kyle has been a friend, part of our family and has played a key role in the development of many of our drivers through his ownership of Kyle Busch Motorsports. We wish nothing but the best for Kyle and his entire family as he moves into the next chapter of his Hall of Fame career. We’re thankful to have been along for the ride.”