After 66 starts, one win and 35 top-10’s, Kyle Busch announced his Nationwide Series team will cease operation. The team’s lone win came at the hands of Kyle’s brother, Kurt, who drove the No. 54 Monster Energy Drink Toyota to victory at Richmond in the spring of 2012.
Kyle himself drove for the team in 2012 as well, starting 22 races and managing 14 top-10’s but no wins, results that are far less impressive than his 2013 season driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the series. Kyle accumulated 12 wins and 22 top-10’s this season, with the team coming up just short of winning the owner’s championship for JGR.
Kyle addressed the media on Saturday after the Ford Ecoboost 300 and cited lack of funding as the reason for the shutdown, “There’s absolutely no funding in this world. It really, really sucks. That’s why we’re open and in business. But when the economy turns, Joe Gibbs Racing shut my team down this off-season, Turner Scott Motorsports is shutting down Nationwide teams this year. It’s not due to lack of hard work, that’s for sure.”
Evidently, corporations are focusing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Elite team owners – Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, and Richard Childress were very enthusiastic about the fact that many of their sponsors are re-signing for additional time. Rick Hendrick commented, “I feel like the interest is picking up. We’re getting more people that we’re talking to. The good news is the folks that we have are renewing. That’s good. When the economy was at its worst, it looked like the whole financial crisis was affecting the world, we were worried. But now we just signed a deal with Axalta last night, basically a new company with DuPont. They bought DuPont, the paint division. But they’re very excited. Their CEO was here. They have huge plans.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series definitely gets more exposure than the Nationwide Series. That could be the reason for the stark contrast between the two opinions. The Nationwide Series presented a very good product this season, hopefully, the sponsors will come and keep these teams racing well into the future.