Joe Gibbs Racing is shaping up to have a strong year. The addition of Matt Kenseth and the continuing development of Denny Hamlin assure that this may be the best group of drivers the championship team has ever fielded. Without a doubt these two drivers will provide a backbone of development and feedback that may be the best in NASCAR.
Yet, the biggest question mark with the team will continue to be how Kyle Busch fits in. According to Busch, things with the team have never been better. With regards to his contract extension, Busch says the main reason he stayed was that JGR was the “best place for me”. Despite a strained relationship last season, Busch continues to mature overall. He states that Gibbs allowed him to test the market and he had two “lucrative deals” on the table.
Kyle Busch Motorsports may be the best thing to happen to the controversial driver. Through driving for his own team he not only is able to secure his own sponsorship and run a multitude of nationwide races, but by having his own team he will be forced to mature and understand the driver-team relationship even further.
Last year it could have been argued KBM was a hindrance for the talented driver. Busch got into multiple bouts with Gibbs regarding the other forms of racing he was doing on behalf of his own team, and Busch was very vocal of Toyota Racing Development which provided parts for both teams.
Although details of this contract have not been released, the publicized components look like it will be bring nothing but good things for both teams. Busch will run 25 Nationwide Series races for his own team with crew chief Adam Stevens under the JGR banner with Monster Energy sponsorship. This also means there will be a strong technical alliance between Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Racing Development and Kyle Busch Motorsports.
With a new contract in place, and a strong network of technical communication, and a maturing driver determined to be back on top, this season may bring us the best Kyle Busch we have ever seen.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @mike486