Kyle Busch announced Tuesday he will depart Joe Gibbs Racing and join Richard Childress Racing to race full-time for the organization in 2023.
Busch made the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where he announced he will drive the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing entry in 2023.
“I needed a place where I go collect trophies and a place where I could reset and go be who I am, new teammates, new boss who accepts where I’ve been and where I can be. At the end of the day, one team and one owner emerged as the clear choice to compete for championships from day one – and I’ll be taking my talents to Welcome, NC, and drive the No. 8 car for Richard Childress in 2023,” Busch said.
Richard Childress joined Kyle Busch on stage and presented him with a signing bonus of a watch. Childress also presented Kyle’s son, Brexton, an option to drive for RCR someday.
Kyle Busch will replace Tyler Reddick in the No. 8 Chevrolet, as Reddick will move to a third chartered RCR entry in 2023 before he joins 23XI Racing in 2024. Richard Childress could not comment Tuesday on where the third charter will come from.
During the press conference, Busch stated he intends for Kyle Busch Motorsports continuing operations in 2023 as a Chevrolet team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion didn’t detail how many trucks KBM will field, nor did he detail the team’s drivers.
In 2023, Toyota will lose KBM’s three Truck entries that have long been a proving ground for talents such as Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, William Byron, Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, Todd Gilliland as each’s first step in their journey to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Toyota will have four full-time Thorsport entries, two Hattori entries, one Halmar entry, one On-Point Motorsports entry, one Hill Motorsports entry and one G2G Racing entry, as they lose the three KBM entries.
Busch’s departure from Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing leaves the No. 18 NASCAR Cup Series Toyota open. Ty Gibbs is expected to fill that vacancy.
While driving Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota from 2008 to now, Kyle Busch led the field in wins (56) and top-5 finishes (204) and is only second to Jimmie Johnson in championships (2 vs. 5) and second to Kevin Harvick in top-10s (325 vs. 300).
In that 15-year timespan, Busch leads the field in poles (30) and, with eight races to go, can only be caught by Denny Hamlin (29), Kevin Harvick (26) and Joey Logano (22).