The COVID-19 pandemic has put a pause on the entire NASCAR community and Kyle Busch Motorsports is no different.
Without any Gander RV & Outdoors Series races scheduled until May 15 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, life for the team is “half business as usual” according to Busch in an appearance on Kevin Harvick‘s SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show “Happy Hours.”
The status of his Truck Series team was one of the subjects Busch discussed during his appearance on Wednesday’s show.
Busch said everyone that works at the team’s shop is being kept on payroll for the time being, but that work shifts have been split in two.
“What we did is we took our shop guys, our fab shop, body shop, assembly area and all that sort of stuff, there’s probably about 45 people in that, but they’re all spread out through the 77,000-square foot building and we cut them in half,” Busch said. “There’s a 4 a.m. to noon sector, then there’s a noon to 8 p.m. sector of guys that are working. We kind of just split them. We’ve definitely got stuff we can do, there’s cleaning to do, there’s straightening up to do, there’s also building to do and getting ahead.”
They have to get ahead on a schedule that they don’t know will look like when racing returns.
‘We know as soon as we get back going again, they’re going to want to get all the races in and that’s pretty much going to mean 13 straight weeks if we did the calendar right,” Busch said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “We have no idea, we just guessed (at the format). That’s 13 straight weeks for our truck guys. I don’t know how the other teams are going do it with people and equipment and that sort of stuff.
“We’re planning ahead in the regard, so we’re keeping everybody on payroll. Nothing’s happening in that regard yet. Hopefully, we get through with the CDC’s recommendation on a May time frame of getting back to business here, so I think we’ll be fine if that’s the case and we can get back racing in May.”
His Truck Series team isn’t the only business that Busch has on his mind.
Earlier this year the two-time Cup champion launched his own energy drink brand, Rowdy Energy.
That comes after Busch’s long relationship with Monster Energy and NOS Energy.
“I had my own energy drink with previous companies I’ve worked with and … they took my name off the can because they said it wasn’t selling, the flavor wasn’t selling,” Busch said. “So they took my name off the can, but yet they still sell the same flavor. So I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, ok, you guys just didn’t want to pay me my royalties. I get it, whatever.'”
Busch said this “sparked” his interest to make a healthier energy drink that gives “an option for people to be able to go out there and buy something that is a better option for you to put in your body.”
While the drink has been rolled out at NASCAR tracks early this season and online, Busch said it’s been a “nightmare” placing it in physical stores.
“Everybody kind of forewarned me about that early on,” Busch told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It’s certainly coming true. Let’s just say there’s 200,000 convenience stores across the country, well we hope to be in about 2,000 stores by the year’s end and then hopefully by eight or 10,000 stores by next year.
“That’s only chipping the ice, that isn’t even breaking the ice … we’ve got a long way to go.”