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Everything We Know About The Spire KBM Deal

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Earlier this week, it was reported that KBM and Spire were in talks about a potential purchase of the former. Initially, it was rumored that Spire was going to only buy the shop Kyle Busch Motorsports has operated in since its 2010 founding. With their downsize and switch from long-time manufacturer, Toyota to Chevrolet for the 2023 season, maybe that made a little sense. However, that rumor didn’t last too long as, days later on, Wednesday, September 27th, Kyle Busch released the following statement:

Spire Motorsports, in their infinite desire to expand into a NASCAR powerhouse, matched only by the likes of Hendrick Motorsports, has bought KBM. Though the rumor mill had everyone expecting something of this nature, it still came as a shock to me and I imagine many other fans as well who grew up with KBM dominating the Truck Series for most of their fandom. This is quite the shakeup in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silly Season. So, what does it all mean for all the parties involved? Well, here’s everything we know (so far) about the Spire/KBM transaction heading into the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Season:

KBM Was A Question Mark Heading Into 2023

First, we’ll get the obvious out of the way. When Kyle Busch shockingly left his home of 15 years, Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the first questions asked was about the status of the KBM Truck Series team. Initially, they didn’t have all of that ironed out, Busch himself even called it a kink which slowed the process of his contract negotiations down significantly. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that KBM would stay alive but downsize to only 1 full-time entry running for points (the No. 4 truck for Chase Purdy) while the No. 51 would remain the all-star truck, run primarily by Jack Wood though the likes of team owner himself, Kyle Busch, and William Byron would also make starts in the truck.

In regards to KBM, as Kyle was finalizing his deal with RCR, he laid out his ideal retirement scenario: when his son, Brexton who has signed a developmental deal with RCR, turned 15, Kyle Busch himself would retire from full-time Cup Series racing and race one full year in the No. 51 truck for KBM, trying to become the first driver to win a championship in all three of NASCAR’s major touring series. When Brexton turned 16, they’d split the truck for two years, Brexton running the shorter tracks and Kyle running the big ovals. Then, Kyle would retire for good. Busch recounted this dream retirement scenario in the video below, posted on NASCAR’s YouTube Channel. The team would be sold to Spire just a couple of days later.

Who’s Moving In? Who’s Moving Out?

Though both the team and all its assets of KBM were purchased by Spire, in contrary to previously spread rumors, the biggest win in this situation seems to be the old KBM shop itself. Spire is a quickly expanding team in NASCAR as, in 2024, they will field 3 full-time Cup cars as they recently purchased the charter of Live Fast Motorsports. Corey Lajoie is already set to return to the No. 7 car, the No. 77 is highly speculated to be run by Carson Hocevar, and Zane Smith will also run for the team full-time next year due to a lease deal with Trackhouse.

The current shop the team operates in is the old Alan Kulwicki, which was a 1-car team back in the early 1990s. With the NextGen car taking up less space, it was feasible to run a two-car team out of that shop. But, when you add another Cup car, a truck, and a part-time Xfinity car which is being run out of the JR Motorsports shop, you can imagine that it starts to feel a little bit crowded. KBM, a team that once ran as many as 5 entries in a season, seems to be a better fit with their shop. So, come 2024, Spire, as reported by FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, will move into the old KBM building, running all 3 Cup and all 3 Truck Series teams from that one location. They may sell or lease out their current shop.

What Will Kyle’s Role Be at Spire (If Any)?

Only a month or two ago, shortly after KBM’s 100th win at Pocono, KBM announced that Kyle had re-signed with his own team to run his usual 5-races a year in 2024. The sale left a lot of fans scratching their heads, wondering whether or not Kyle will return to drive the No. 51 in any select events in 2024. Well, as reported by Jordan Bianchi, Kyle Busch will remain with the team as a part-time driver and serve as an advisor for the team, probably similar to the role his brother has at 23XI, though I doubt he’ll get the honor of such a title as Chief Fun Officer.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, this is the deal: KMB will be absorbed by Spire in 2024. They will still compete with Chase Purdy in the No. 4, who resigned with KBM earlier this year, Kyle will still drive the No. 51 part-time likely with Jack Wood filling out the rest of the schedule, and the No. 7 will return, though how often that team will compete is not currently known. The status of the No. 77 Xfinity team is also up in the air, though I’d assume that all those parts and pieces will just be absorbed back into JRM with their part-time No. 88 effort. Spire will bring their now three Cup teams over to the KBM shop and will operate from there. Whether or not Kyle’s ideal retirement scenario with Brexton comes to fruition remains to be seen.

In the end, I don’t suppose this sale is much of a surprise. A lot of things have changed in both Kyle Busch’s professional and personal lives and I’d imagine that the negotiations between the various teams he talked to last year and KBM took their toll on him. Let’s face it, the team has not been as competitive this year as they have been in the past. Heck, Chase Purdy didn’t even make the Playoffs. Maybe Spire taking over is what everyone involved needed to move forward to greener pastures.

What do you think, Daily Downforce readers? Did you see the KBM/Spire transaction coming? What do you think this means for the team’s performance going forward? Let us know! And keep it right here for all your latest stories and discussions in the world of NASCAR.

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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