Friday the USA Today reported that Kyle Busch has re-signed with Joe Gibbs Racing on a long term extension. Busch's contract was scheduled to run out at the end of the 2013 season. Two sources close to the situation spoke out of anonymity because the team has yet to announce the extension.
Busch is now off the free agent market and that is a good sign for both parties. Busch, who has had some big time issues with behavior in the past, will now represent Joe Gibbs Racing for the next several seasons. While nothing official has been announced as far as sponsorship goes one has to believe that M&M's, which was the primary sponsor on Busch's #18 Toyota for 26 races in the 2012 season, will be back for the majority of the races in the future with Busch, who has made the company ponder their future with Busch once before.
A year ago Busch was suspended for actions he committed during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in which Busch intentionally wrecked fellow driver Ron Hornaday Jr after a scuffle the two had earlier in the race. Busch was suspended for the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway and there were several reports that M&M's may even pull their sponsorship from Busch entirely. While that didn't happen M&M's was none too happy with Busch's actions and pulled their sponsorship off the car for the final two races of the 2011 season.
Yet when Daytona came around many forget about Busch's actions at Texas and as the 2012 season went along there were very few incidents in which Busch misbehaved. He still showed his passion but he was much more controlled. His 2012 season turned out to be one of his worst at Joe Gibbs Racing statistically, missing the Chase and winning just one race.
While that may have been a disappointment to some sponsorships, M&M's resigned to a long term deal. Not because they were happy with the results but because Busch had finally calmed himself down and has proven in the past he has all the skills to be a multiple time champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A new contract extension means that M&M's believes that Busch will continue to control himself and all hard feelings from 2011 are far behind both parties.
Another thing the extension does is show that Kyle Busch will run several Nationwide and Truck races for as long as he wants. To me, running in other series is very important to Busch and several organizations in NASCAR would let Busch run in the other series and sign him to a big time cup deal in the process.
There were reports that JGR wanted Busch to scale back his schedule in other series. However, in 2013 Busch is going to run several NASCAR Nationwide Series races for the organization and all the rumors about Busch scaling back have fallen into memory. Busch owns his own Nationwide and Truck Series team and has hired several other drivers to take over duties. However, Busch will still run as many truck races as he would like because he now proved he can control himself. The new deal also means that all Kyle Busch Motorsports teams will be Toyota's and will help Joe Gibbs Racing in any way possible.
A new contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing means Kyle Busch will run in the Truck and Nationwide Series as much as he likes and will continue to race in an M&M's sponsored Toyota for years to come. And to think, at one point in time both things were in question.
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