Busch could be out at NASCAR. IndyCar anyone? UPDATE #5
AR1.com's sources were correct. Kyle Busch will compete in the final two Sprint Cup races but without primary sponsor M&Ms as the sponsor of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Sources said Busch will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries in Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway and next weekend's finale at Miami-Homestead Speedway. The decision ended several days of speculation that Busch would be parked for the final two races or possibly lose his job with Mars Incorporated, M&M's parent company, displeased with his behavior and threatening to pull out. Officials at Mars Inc. did not immediately respond to emails inquiring about the company's relationship with Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing past this season. ESPN
|Kyle Busch is too talented to be racing in NASCAR and props up the failing Truck and Nationwide series by racing and winning in them, helping both series to survive. |
Statement from M&Ms: Mars, Incorporated announced that they will be removing Kyle Busch from driving the M&M'S car for the remaining two races of the 2011 NASCAR season as a result of the incident during last Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will not run with the M&M'S paint scheme until 2012, at which time Kyle Busch will be the driver with the expectation that no future incident take place. 11/10/11 AR1.com sources tell us that Kyle Busch is confirmed to compete in the final two NASCAR Sprint Cup races of 2011 at Phoenix and Homestead.
"As a proud member of the racing community, Mars and the M&M'S brand strongly support the partnership we have with Joe Gibbs Racing and are committed to NASCAR. Yet, Kyle's recent actions are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars," said Debra A. Sandler, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America. "While we do not condone Kyle's recent actions, we do believe that he has shown remorse and has expressed a desire to change. We believe our decision will have a positive impact on Kyle and will help him return next season ready to win."
"We strongly support Mars' decision," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change where Kyle can continue racing in a way we can all be proud of." Mars, Inc.
However, ESPN reports, Aric Almirola told ESPN.com on Thursday he has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about possibly replacing Kyle Busch in the final two Sprint Cup races and is awaiting final word from the organization, so we will see whose sources are correct.
ESPN's Marty Smith reported Thursday on SportsCenter and NASCAR Now that Busch, according to sources, will be in the No. 18 Cup car this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway and next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the car likely will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries instead of M&Ms, which was scheduled to be on the car as the primary sponsor.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that according to multiple people familiar with Busch's schedule, Z-Line Designs asked this week that Denny Hamlin replace Busch in the Nationwide race at Homestead.
Mars Incorporated, which manufacturers M&Ms, stated its displeasure with Busch for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in the Nov. 4 Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch was parked for the Nationwide Series and Cup Series races at Texas, then fined $50,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the season by NASCAR.
But according to sources, Mars Inc. still had reservations about having its name on the Cup car with Busch for the last two races, prompting the call to Almirola. ESPN.com11/10/11 The fallout from Kyle Busch's road rage at Texas continued Thursday when one of his sponsors asked for him to be removed from the season-ending Nationwide Series race, The Associated Press has learned.
Multiple people familiar with Busch's schedule told the AP that Z-Line Designs asked this week that Denny Hamlin replace Busch in next weekend's Nationwide race at Homestead. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because Busch's future was still being discussed Thursday with sponsors and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Among the options being considered is Aric Almirola replacing Busch in the final two Sprint Cup Series races of the season, as primary sponsor M&M's decides how it wants to proceed with Busch. Although NASCAR has cleared Busch to race this weekend at Phoenix, JGR officials have been silent on his status in Sunday's Cup race. More at AP11/10/11 Website, tireball.com is reporting.....the rumors and if they are true, like they appear to be, then Kyle Busch is out of a ride until Daytona and now without sponsorship. Busch was parked last week at Texas due to actions in the Camping World Truck Series when he wrecked fellow competitor Ron Hornaday under caution. If true, the door is open and Busch may be agreeable to becoming an IndyCar driver should IndyCar pursue him. Would make a great story and would bring his big fan base to the struggling series.
11/07/11 The arrogance and over-inflated ego of Kyle Busch caused him to sit out two races at Texas Motor Speedway, but more punishment may indeed be in store for him by Joe Gibbs.
Busch was seventh in the point standings for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Michael McDowell was the man behind the wheel in the No. 18 M&M's Toyota in the AAA Texas 500.
Joe Gibbs knew immediately after watching the incident between Busch and Ron Hornaday during the NASCAR Camping World Truck race that he had to rush to Texas for damage control.
What happened between the No. 33 truck and Busch in the No. 18 truck was obviously going to explode into something much bigger than the driver for Joe Gibbs Racing being ordered to park the truck.
It was immediately announced that Busch and his crew chief were to report to the NASCAR trailer after the race.
The next meeting took place in the NASCAR trailer Saturday morning with Gibbs, J.D. Gibbs, Busch and others.
It was after that brief get together that the word came from NASCAR that Busch would not race in the Nationwide or Cup race under NASCAR rule 9-12.
Busch issued an apology, which may be too little, too late. Sure, he is sorry about what he did, but only because his ego was bruised from the hard NASCAR slap.
The punishment is hardly over for the driver of the No. 18 Toyota. NASCAR will once again meet early next week to determine what, if any, further action may be assessed against Busch.
This is a driver who has continued to push his luck with assorted antics that test the patience and policies of NASCAR, including giving the finger to an official at Texas Motor Speedway.
Now the pressure is on the boss at Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs took responsibility for Busch and his actions, though he hardly had control over the driver and his egregious behavior.
The Mars company, makers of M&M's candy, has very high expectations for the driver behind the wheel of the car they sponsor, with huge sums of money going to Joe Gibbs Racing.
Certainly, they get their money's worth when it comes to the talent Busch has behind the wheel of his Cup car. If only his behavior and attitude equated to his ability. The fact is, they do not.
Joe Gibbs Racing, his team and his fans were all disrespected by the actions of Busch, even though he was driving a truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports when the incident took place.
His continued poor judgment on the race tracks and off the race track reflect not only on his team owner but the sponsor as well.
Prior to the Cup race at Texas, M&M's issued a statement on Facebook that read as follows:
"The recent actions by Kyle Busch are not consistent with the values of M&M's and we're very disappointed. Like you, we hold those who represent our sport to a higher standard and we have expressed our concerns to Joe Gibbs Racing."
It is sad that a young man with such natural talent as a race car driver should have to sink to this current level. His way back to grace is going to be a tough road.
NASCAR may or may not allow Busch to race the last two races of the season, but the pressure from M&M's on Gibbs may force the release of the driver from JGR.
Gibbs is in a corner, and if he keeps Busch, Mars will likely pull their sponsorship. Should Busch be released, it will be from the second major NASCAR team. Hendrick Motorsports was the first to release him.
NASCAR wants to see the drivers show personality, as do fans. The JGR driver is just so driven to win that he crosses the line of reasonable behavior.
Busch has so much potential, but his maturity level and lack of respect have sadly cost him dearly in many ways.
This saga has yet to play out, and it will play out relatively quickly. Joe Gibbs Racing may not be able to take one for the driver of the No. 18. BleacherReport11/05/11 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, NASCAR got IndyCar's worse driver, and IndyCar should go after and get NASCAR's best driver - Kyle Busch. Hands down he is the best driver in NASCAR and probably the only driver over there with enough talent to drive an IndyCar. He is probably so pissed at NASCAR right now I hope he quits and Randy Bernard goes out and recruits him. It would be the shot in the arm IndyCar needs. Ray Smith
Dear Ray, While we agree Kyle Busch is far too talented of a driver to waste it driving around in circles, he has contracts that would keep him in NASCAR. Mark C.