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Kyle Busch Talks Split With Joe Gibbs Racing: 'So Hurtful'

Kyle Busch is moving over to Richard Childress Racing, but that doesn't mean there isn't pain over leaving his former team.

By Tyler McCarthy

Kyle Busch got surprisingly candid about the end of his long run with Joe Gibbs Racing during the latest episode of USA Network’s “Race For The Championship.” 

How to Watch

Catch up on past episodes of Race For The Championship on Peacock

The 2022 season marks the last one in which Busch will be with JGR after contract renewal negotiations failed. He previously announced he’ll be taking his talents over to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 Cup Series Season.

However, Busch still noted on the latest episode of “Race For The Championship” that he’s been feeling the sting of the change already in his final races with his team. 

RELATED: Kyle Busch Coming To RCR May Make Things Awkward For Tyler Reddick

The two-time Cup Series champion admitted he was shocked to have had two engine failures in three weeks that ultimately led to the end of his chances this season. The issues may have stemmed from growing pains with the Next Gen cars, but Busch couldn’t help but feel his team was no longer backing him through these issues. He went on to say he feels abandoned by JGR.

“Something that is so disappointing to me and so hurtful about this whole situation with JGR is they were like family,” Busch said. “For 15 years, Joe had my back in the stupidest of moments that Kyle Busch was. Like, he was there for me. And it's gone. Like it just flipped and it’s gone. And it's like nothing I've ever been a part of.”

Although there was immense pressure and decision-making came down to the wire, Busch’s talent behind the wheel made him an in-demand talent for any team to scoop up if JGR was truly going to let him go. So, RCR, with the help of Austin Dillon, stepped in to give Busch a home in the 2023 season. 

The episode quickly shifted from the driver’s frustration with not feeling like he’s a part of JGR anymore to showing his triumphant signing with his new team. 

“The last few months have been nothing but stressful. It’s been 15 years since I’ve had to make a decision quite like this, but 15 years ago it was just me,” Busch said during a press conference announcing the news. “So, this process took a lot longer than I expected it to. I had to find a place where I knew I could go and win races immediately. I also needed a place where I felt like I could hit reset and I could be welcomed just as I am.” 

Team drama aside, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in the episode that he believes Busch has five to six more “peak years” left in him. It’s clear that he’s hungry to prove he is synonymous with racing, not JGR. 

You can watch "Race For The Championship" every Thursday at 10/9c on USA Network. You can catch up on past episodes on Peacock right now.