Kyle Busch recently signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing. The multi-year deal keeps the driver with Joe Gibbs Racing throughout the Sprint Cup Series, puts Busch in a JGR car for several Nationwide and Camping World Series races, and brings over the Monster sponsorship for the Nationwide Series.
But what does Busch's extension with Joe Gibbs Racing really mean?
Busch has run into trouble with Joe Gibbs Racing over the last two years. In 2011 his actions in the Camping World Series caused the M&M sponsor to drop Busch for the final two races of the season.
Then there was last season where Busch had to issue an apology to Toyota after complaining about the manufacturer.
Even after these incidents, Joe Gibbs wanted to re-sign Busch.
And even after complaining about Toyota and the bad season he had last year, Busch clearly still feels like he can win races and try to compete for a championship in a Toyota.
Busch is one of the top drivers in NASCAR, and JGR had every intent on keeping the driver for the future.
The Best Driver For The Job
Gibbs clearly wanted to re-sign Busch because no free agent driver at this point in the sport could deliver the same results in the 18 car.
Even though he can cause a bit of a ruckus, Busch can drive the wheels off of a car, and if Gibbs had let him go, he would have had a big problem trying to pick up another driver who would be able to have as much success in the 18 car.
The full terms of the contract haven't been shown, but Joe Gibbs Racing more than likely will be paying Busch handsomely to stay with the organization.
“The bad news is we work for him and we’re broke,” Joe Gibbs was quoted as saying by Lee Spencer of Fox Sports. “(Team President) J.D. (Gibbs) and I are taking the nightshift up at the corner.”
Busch is the best driver for Gibbs to sign heading into the future. It might have taken a lot to keep the driver on the team, but in the end it will hopefully be worth it.
The Nationwide Problem
Last season Busch didn't drive any races for JGR in the Nationwide series. Clearly that was a problem for Gibbs, as part of Busch's new contract requires the driver to race for JGR in the Nationwide Series.
Along with racing for JGR in Nationwide, Busch will race in a handful of Camping World Truck Series races for JGR as well.
Busch is bringing the Monster sponsorship over to JGR when he drives for the organization in the Nationwide Series.
Kyle was quoted by Lee Spencer of Fox Sports as saying:
We’ve re-signed for multi-years — part of the agreement is that I’ve brought over the Monster (sponsorship). Joe was adamant about me racing his Nationwide cars out of his place at Joe Gibbs Racing. So as part of my deal, I’ll be rejoining forces with (crew chief) Adam Stevens. We’ll fill out the rest of the races with some younger talent to get out there for us and fill in the non-companion races.
Busch racing for his own team in Nationwide was a problem for Gibbs. The problem has been corrected with the new contract Kyle signed.
The Best Place For Busch
Busch choosing Joe Gibbs Racing as his racing organization proves that he feels that Gibbs Racing is the best place for him.
Busch did meet with other teams, but in the end he decided to stick with JGR.
"I did meet with some other teams and they were very interested," Busch was quoted as saying by Jordan Bianchi of SBnation.com. "There were some very nice, lucrative deals that were out there to pursue."
"Ultimately, what it comes down to is relationships and things you've developed over the last five or six years."
JGR seems to be the best place for Busch. And while other groups like Stewart-Haas Racing were rumored to be one of the teams who tried to sign Kyle, his decision to stay at JGR clearly wasn’t just about money.
Kyle has a successful history at JGR, and if anything, his contract extensions means that he wants to continue having success with the Joe Gibbs Racing organization.