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Kevin Harvick SLAMS Kyle Busch’s JGR Comments

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What’s Happening?

In the wake of Martin Truex Jr. announcing he is stepping away from full-time driving at the end of 2024, Kyle Busch addressed online speculation that he could head back to Joe Gibbs Racing. He immediately responded by saying, “Anything’s possible,” while still expressing that he is still working hard to “Make RCR Great again.” Kevin Harvick took exception to these comments, claiming it is a “Kick in the teeth to the guys and gals that are working on your car.”

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  • Kyle Busch is in the midst of one of the worst seasons of his career. He is currently 38 points out of the Playoffs and is mired in the longest losing streak of his career. This lack of performance has largely been attributed to his equipment at RCR.
  • Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have an interesting history with each other. They have had run-ins in the past, especially while Harvick was at RCR.
  • Fans are split on these Harvick comments. Many empathize with Busch and the difficult scenario he was put in and blame RCR for Busch’s recent career downturn.

What Exactly Was Said

Kyle Busch spoke to the media at Iowa last weekend and was directly asked about a potential JGR reunion. This is what he had to say.

I would say anything’s possible always. If I was welcomed [at JGR], I would go back. If Hendrick welcomed me back, I would go back. But, right now, I am at RCR with my group of guys, and the deal that I have right now in place. So, we’re trying to work and build this program and make RCR great again.

Kyle Busch

Busch later confirmed that he plans to be back at RCR in 2025 and mentioned that there are “No-talk clauses” in his contract, likely keeping him from speaking with other teams. According to Candice Lee Spencer, Busch’s RCR contract has a team option for 2025, meaning that RCR holds the cards on where Busch can go in 2025.

Kevin Harvick did not love the way Busch discussed this publicly. Here is what Harvick had to say.

A message like that just opens Pandora’s box to letting all of us critique, criticize, speculate what that means. I could see thinking that, but, I don’t know why you would say that unless you were not happy with the deal that you had. Opening the door to a Joe Gibbs conversation or a Hendrick conversation, that’s just like a kick in the teeth to the guys and gals that are working on your car. To not be committed 100% in your answer to the team that you’re driving for, unless you were looking for a way out, I don’t know why you would say that if you were happy and wanting to work through the scenario that you had. It seems to me like he’s just throwing it out there to see what the options are on the table...I’m so confused about making those comments about driving at Gibbs and Hendrick because, I just, I don’t know what it does in making your situation better at RCR.

Kevin Harvick

Needless to say, Harvick was not a fan of those comments. While he didn’t necessarily say that Busch was wrong to feel upset about how things were going at RCR, Harvick wonders how those comments actually help anything unless Busch is shopping elsewhere.

It also comes from an interesting place, given Busch and Harvick’s history with each other. The two had some run-ins, most notably in 2011 at Darlington. Granted, the two’s rivalry cooled off after that, but it’s still a moment people talk about today.

Who Was Right?

On the one hand, it’s understandable for Kyle Busch to be frustrated. He went from a perennial Championship-contending race team in JGR to a team that hasn’t seen a driver finish top-10 in points since 2014.

The move was also primarily sponsorship-driven, as Mars Chocolate left the sport following the 2022 season, leaving Busch and JGR without funding for the No. 18 car. Busch was pushed aside for Xfinity Series Champion Ty Gibbs.

We’ve also seen significant regression in Busch’s performance since winning his second Championship in 2020. That regression accelerated when he joined RCR, as, in 2023, Busch recorded his worst points finish since his rookie season. The article below provides more on that.

However, to Harvick’s point, how does publicly expressing even a slight interest in signing with other teams help the situation? Pretty much every driver would consider moving to a team if it provides a better opportunity, but they typically don’t go public about it like Kyle Busch did. For example, when Tyler Reddick moved on from RCR to 23XI Racing, everything happened behind the scenes, and Reddick made no public indication that he was moving on.

For a member of RCR, it is tough to hear straight from the driver that he could want to move elsewhere. Like Harvick said, it opens up a can of worms whether Busch wants it to or not.

In fairness, Busch also expressed that he and the teams are working on building the RCR program he races in right now. He is trying to make RCR a better organization, but, do comments like this help or hurt that cause?

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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