Toyota’s David Wilson hasn’t had a contract update for Kyle Busch for media at Daytona International Speedway, but the manufacturer remains committed to trying to keep Busch in the fold.
“We’re still in the mix, we’re still working with Kyle, and our intention remains the same,” said Wilson, Toyota Racing Development President. “Kyle Bush is the home run hitter for 60 years and we would be foolish not to put everything in play to keep him in the family, and that’s what we continue to do.”
With primary sponsor March leaving at the end of 2022, the difficulty of finding a new partner for Bush has few branches. Among these are the dollar amount the sponsor wants the race team and the reputation of Bosch.
“We say every week: ‘He’s not good enough in this sport at the highest level to be the best driver,'” Wilson added. “Kyle Busch is the best in conversation ever. Again, he’s our 60th home hitter, and he’s on track to break every record the sport has ever seen. That’s not good enough in this sport. You need corporate America. You need To take care to lead the ship, and whether or not this is a good thing…that is not for me to say, but it is a fact.
“It’s been a challenging environment. Part of that is just organic to the current economy, inflation and recession, whatever you want to call it. Some of that is definitely, again, the polarizing nature of some drivers, and they don’t suit all patrons.”
Wilson acknowledged that Toyota, as a manufacturer, had a role in the Bosch contract negotiations. However, Wilson clarified that Toyota does not have drivers or teams and respects their place in the garage.
“So within the reasonable limits of a factory in this sport, we are doing everything we can to try and keep Kyle in our family,” Wilson said. “This isn’t just an offensive consideration – I don’t want to race against it [an angry] Kyle Bush. And wherever it lands, it will do some damage. But like I said before, it’s been a lot of heavy lifting and that hasn’t changed.”
Toyota will not cut a check to cover Bosch’s salary. While the manufacturer is one of the most involved in its support of race teams and driver development through Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series, it is not their responsibility to pay a driver’s fare — not even one of Busch’s caliber.
“Show [those comments] The whole time, this goes back to my comment [about how] “We have a role to play in this sport,” Wilson said. “From the time we came here and started racing here… in 2007 in the Cup Series we have respected this sport, we have respected the place and the responsibility we have in this sport, which is not a responsibility where we are puppeteers and again, we have drivers or teams races.
“The racing teams – Joe Gibbs Racing – have a contract with the drivers. We have relationships with every one of our drivers – this is called a Personal Services Agreement – and that’s because they are all ambassadors for us. But it’s not our role as a manufacturer to provide support. That’s just not what we do. .that’s not what we do.”
Bush’s tone went from twisting questions to Joe Gibbs as he said he wanted to stay with his team, to admitting he was talking to other organizations, and then saying last month he would take concessions on his next deal. The situation changes a lot as it goes on, and Wilson admitted it’s very dynamic.
“Every week, every two days brings with it a new development, a new potential opportunity, and we are working to get these things working,” he said. “Hopefully someone will discover this iron, and hopefully one of these opportunities will manifest itself. I have no doubt that Kyle Busch will drive a cup car in the sport next year. The question is where and for whom?”
Wilson said there is no set date for when something will be done with Bush.
“I think this will sort of define itself, eventually,” he said, “because wherever Kyle ends up, and with whom Kyle ends up, this entity will need time to solidify that.” “So, I think it will happen naturally. I can’t get too deep into the playoffs.”
Wilson eventually said, “I just want to see Kyle in a good place. I hope it’s with Toyota, but the most important thing is that he’s on his feet and he and his family are in a good place.”