AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kyle Busch Motorsports announced Friday it will field two full-time trucks in the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season as it transitions to Chevrolet.
Chase Purdy will pilot the No. 4 Chevrolet as part of a multi-year deal. Additionally, Jack Wood will compete in at least 10 races behind the wheel of the No. 51 Chevrolet, splitting the ride with owner-driver Kyle Busch and other Cup and Xfinity Series drivers that will be announced at a later time as the team chases an owner’s title with that entry.
KBM also announced it has partnered with Rev Racing with a technical alliance, supporting Rev Racing’s expansion into the Truck Series with 2022 ARCA Menards Series champion Nick Sanchez driving the No. 2 Chevrolet.
Busch remains the winningest driver in series history with 62 victories. The program debuted in 2010 and has been a Toyota team thanks to Busch’s tie to the manufacturer in the Cup Series.
As Busch transitions to Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet for the 2023 Cup Series season, his namesake team will follow suit with a different manufacturer.
“Obviously, there will be a lot of change at KBM in 2023, but our goal as an organization remains the same that it always has been, and that’s to go out and win races and provide the young drivers in our lineup everything they need to reach their full potential,” Busch said in a team release. “We have the right people in place to be able to accomplish those goals for our two trucks as well as being able to provide technical support to Rev Racing as they expand into the Truck Series and create a pipeline for young drivers in their program to advance their careers to the next level.”
In the media center on Friday afternoon, Busch was visibly in lighter spirits, pleased to have a resolution to what has been a trying journey through 2022. Despite his RCR news breaking in mid-September, questions lingered about the future of his Truck Series program – an organization heavily aided by Toyota Racing Development since it originated.
He admitted there were moments the team’s future was questionable altogether.
“Trust me. If you can dream of an idea or a concept, we certainly have had to have had that on the whiteboard. No question,” Busch said. “You know, there were times where it looked like none; it was as many as four. So there were definitely different opportunities that were out there that presented themselves but felt like this was the best play, the smartest play, and one that would keep us to where we feel comfortable and where we’ve been the most successful as the size of our organization and the growth of what we’ve been able to achieve over the years.”
Purdy joins the program as he moves from Hattori Racing Enterprises, where he piloted the No. 61 Toyota full-time in 2022. He ranked 16th in points with two top-10 finishes ahead of Friday night’s season finale (10 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the No. 4 truck, and my goal is to join the long list of winners that KBM has produced,” Purdy said in a release. “KBM has great people that build really fast trucks, and I’m confident we can do big things together the next two seasons. I appreciate everyone involved that helped put me in this position, and I can’t wait for next season to start.”
Wood is about to complete his first full-time season for GMS Racing and drives the No. 24 Chevrolet, sitting 23rd in points with a career-best finish of 10th in 2021 at Worldwide Technology Raceway.
“Growing up racing on the West Coast, I never would’ve dreamed that I’d be racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports and sharing a truck with Kyle,” Wood said. “It’s truly the opportunity of a lifetime, and I can’t even put into words how excited I am.
“To have the chance to learn from arguably one of the best to ever do it is going to be an incredible experience for me, and I’m extremely thankful to everyone at Chevrolet and KBM that made this possible. I know that I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but KBM will be surrounding me with everything I need to continue to grow as a driver, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Neither driver has won yet in the Truck Series. That doesn’t concern Busch much, who has seen the growth of other drivers who have come through his program.
“We’ve been about developing talent, right?” Busch said. “You know, people I’m sure are looking like these are two young guys and pretty wet behind the ears, you know, don’t have wins in the Truck Series. But you know what? I can’t count how many that have come to us had wins before they got to us. So I think that’s that was a good point by Jack is, you know, we’ve built winners before, and there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”
Aligning with Rev Racing also proved important to Busch, who was happy to surprise the media with fielding a third full-time truck, continuing what the program has done for years.
“This just furthers along our opportunity of being three trucks and gives us a chance to make sure that you know we’re out there fielding, you know, the same amount of teams and the same people that we have been for a long time,” Busch said. “And, again, looking forward to keeping that strength of the people that we have at KBM and winning races.”
Further announcements on the driver schedule for the No. 51 team, as well as crew chiefs and sponsors for both teams, are forthcoming, but Busch did allude to at least one potential option.
Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, announced Friday he is returning to the sport with an ownership stake in Petty GMS and will make select starts in 2023. He and Busch, former teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, may be working on future Truck Series races together.
“Yeah, we’ve done a little bit of texting back and forth,” Busch said. “A little bit of Indy stuff but may or may not have some all-star driver KBM announcements later on down the road, so that can be fun to write. Cat’s out of the bag.”
Busch further cautioned, though: “Wait till you say and then it doesn’t happen.”
Whether Johnson wheels a truck or not, Busch anticipates other current Cup and Xfinity drivers to pilot the No. 51 Chevrolet in the races when neither Busch nor Wood will drive it.