Kyle Busch calls NASCAR’s efforts to limit how many races Cup drivers can run in the Xfinity and Truck Series “frustrating” and said that if he was ever barred from running all Truck races, he’d shut his team down.
Busch made the comments Tuesday afternoon on “SiriusXM Speedway.’’
NASCAR announced Tuesday morning that it would further limit how many races Cup drivers can run in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. For Busch, he will be able to run seven Xfinity races (down from 10 this year) and five Truck races (down from seven this year) next season.
Busch expressed his disappointment with the rule change on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“It’s just kind of the way the sport has gone, I guess,’’ he said. “What’s kind of been happening the last couple of years with the comments and whatnot. It’s a bit frustrating for myself and for my team and for what we all had going on at Joe Gibbs Racing and what we wanted to accomplish. I get the picture. The problem with the picture is that it’s not painted as pretty as some may like it to be.’’
“It didn’t change a damn thing,’’ Busch said of not running,“by eliminating the races that Cup drivers can run.
“If we all get together this offseason and pick and choose our races around each other’s schedule, we can still screw it up as much as we want to screw it up and piss everybody off. I wouldn’t be so certain that might not happen.’’
Busch also forecast the end of Kyle Busch Motorsports — which is in its eighth season in the Camping World Truck Series — if NASCAR won’t let him drive in that series.
“If the limits for the Truck Series goes to zero, I’m done,’’ Busch said. “You will no longer see Kyle Busch Motorsports teams out on the race track. That’s the way I’m going to make it. We’ll see how that progresses as the years go along. On the Xfinity Series side, I’m sure that Joe (Gibbs) is frustrated, and I know I’m frustrated. We’ll just continue to race the races were allowed to run with the sponsorship that we have.’’
Busch’s Truck team has won 61 races since 2010. He runs Truck races in part because of the sponsorship he can bring in, which allows the team to run younger drivers in other races.
“I enjoy going out and running Truck races,’’ said Busch, who has won two of the four Truck races he’s run this season. “If I’m not allowed to do that, then why am I owning a team that I’m not allowed to race for? It just doesn’t make any sense. If I’m out there spending money for other drivers and whatnot to come up through the ranks, but yet I’m getting beat up and not allowed to drive in it, then it’s no fun for me. Then why am I spending money to evolve talent that is going to replace me one day?’’
Many fans refer to NASCAR’s restrictions as a Kyle Busch rule since he’s the Cup driver who typically runs more Xfinity and Truck races than most.
Busch was asked if he felt he was being unfairly targeted by the restrictions.
“I don’t think it’s me necessarily getting singled out,’’ he told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I do feel as though that people have a legitimate bark, I guess let’s call it, with the Cup drivers in the Xfinity Series races. It only seems to get louder when it’s one particular driver.
“I do feel as though that these conversations wouldn’t be what they are if I were, let’s see, a Kevin Harvick or a Kyle Larson or a Brad (Keselowski), where I have a couple of wins a year here and there and I run 20, 15 races a year. But when I was running 20 races a year and I was winning 10 or 13 of those races, that’s when the barks seemed to get louder and talk of the restrictions seemed to get more and more.’’