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Kyle Busch’s performance this season at Richard Childress Racing has been subpar, especially when compared to his previous successes with other teams. Once a formidable force on the track, Kyle Rowdy Busch has only managed five top-10 finishes and two top-5 finishes this season. It has been the second worst in his career after the rookie 2005 average finish of 21. Looking at the stats, NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty recently analyzed Busch’s performance, against that of Kyle Larson, for whom a change in team led to drastically different results.

According to Petty, it was the organizational support that set the two drivers apart. He argued this is what has turned Busch from a top contender into a mid-pack driver, leaving him in a “must-win” situation.

On NASCAR’s YouTube channel, Kyle Petty did not mince his words while saying, “Kyle Busch. Where has Kyle Busch gone? I have no idea. He started last season pretty strong, and I thought, hey this is pretty good. You go from Gibbs to Childress, you make that organization a winner and then they disappear.”

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Here Petty pointed out Kyle Larson’s feat with Chip Ganassi Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. While CGR Larson has won six races, he has won 20 races since 2021 with Hendrick Motorsports. Referring to that, Petty said, “Petty said, “The organization has made Kyle Larson a better winner. The organization has taken Kyle Busch from being a competitive winning driver to just being a guy racing for 8th, 9th, and 10th.” But it was not meant to be like this.

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When Kyle Busch joined RCR from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in 2022, Busch had kept it simple but resolute. “I haven’t gotten into the trenches on much of that yet. But, obviously, they have a good foundation and they have a good start. It’s just a matter of the knowledge and information that I feel like I have that I can bring to the table, bringing attention to areas in which make you a championship-caliber organization,” he had said.

Season 2023 started on a good note. Busch recorded three wins, 10 top-5 finishes, and 17 top-10 finishes in that season. But this year the picture is completely different. Busch’s losing streak now stands at 38 races, the longest in his career. To make matters worse, he did not win any race in the regular season, a first since 2004. In the 17th race of the regular season at the Iowa Speedway recently, things went further south.

Busch was desperately looking for a top-10 finish. But the race ended abruptly after a hit into the wall on lap 269. In a post-race conversation, Busch revealed, “Parts and pieces broke. Something in the left-rear suspension…We came in and fixed it. Rolling back out, we broke the belt. I have no idea, but frustrating, for sure.” That explanation did not seem to affect Petty’s opinion.

“Kyle Busch has made his own luck at RCR Racing,” Petty concluded. underscoring the critical role that team dynamics and support play in a driver’s success. So is it time for Busch to reconsider his team alignment to reclaim his winning ways?

Kyle Busch keeps the options wide open

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Penalize Busch. He Was at Fault

Kyle Busch’s career at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) was marked by success, with numerous victories and two NASCAR Cup Series titles. After the debacle with RCR, Kyle himself seemed to be reconsidering his decision.

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Via Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, Kyle Busch indicated he would consider returning to a top-tier team like JGR or Hendrick Motorsports if the opportunity presented itself. He remarked, “I would say anything is possible always. Certainly that if I was welcome [at JGR] I would go back. If Hendrick welcomed me I would go back.

Despite this, Rowdy for now emphasized remaining committed to RCR, he mentioned, “But right now I’m at RCR with my group of guys and the deal that we have in place. So we’re trying to build this program and make RCR great again.” His current contract with RCR extends through the end of next season, and with Martin Truex Jr retiring, there is speculation about Chase Briscoe potentially filling the vacancy at JGR. That being said, it’s not the end of the story for Rowdy.

USA Today via Reuters

Keeping JGR in reserve, Busch has other options at hand that could be workable for him. There are teams like 23XI and Wood Brothers Racing that could make do with his expertise and benefit tremendously from it. However, rumors have it that Wood Brothers Racing is likely to go for Justin Haley.

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However, it best interests Kyle Busch to focus on the issues plaguing him at RCR—especially the pit crew woes. Incidents like the Daytona 500 that saw pit crew members making blunders, such as leaving a loose lug nut, cannot be written off. How do you think the rest of the season will play out for Rowdy?