John Hunter Nemechek is enjoying a tremendous season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with two wins and the points lead driving the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing. However, no Cup Series opportunities appear to be on the horizon for Nemechek for next year, and Kyle Busch was asked what Nemechek needs.
Busch gave a short, but telling answer saying Nemechek needs “$6 million” according to Toby Christie
Update: Video of the question comes to us from Kenny Wallace’s YouTube channel
Christie also reports that Busch said that it’s more about money than talent for rides nowadays. It is no secret that getting a ride NASCAR requires good sponsorship. Racing in general tends to require sponsorship, so it makes sense why some talented drivers do not get the good rides that others feel they deserve.
Kyle Busch’s comments come in the wake of his own contract negotiation from last season. What once seemed to be a done deal with Busch staying at Joe Gibbs Racing became problematic once Mars Chocolate and their brand, M&M’s, left Busch. This resulted in the offseason switch to Richard Childress Racing.
Kyle Busch is the type of guy that when you ask him a question, he will give you a raw, honest answer. There is not a lot of sugarcoating what he says, and no one would know better than him how sponsorship money affects racing contracts. John Hunter Nemechek unfortunately does not have the star power of Busch, and that means that Nemechek will have a harder time attracting sponsors.
It’s not only a reality of NASCAR, it is a reality of auto racing. Plenty of drivers with sponsorship money make it to the top whether they earned it or not, while other drivers who seem to have earned the right to an opportunity cannot find a way to get where they want to. It’s just a part of the sport, and the reliance on it is a big reason why owners are asking for a larger cut of TV money in the next broadcast deal.