By David Morgan, Associate Editor
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Since announcing his move to Richard Childress Racing and Chevrolet in the Cup Series in 2023, the future of Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Truck Series effort has been up in the air.
On Friday at Phoenix Raceway, Busch revealed what the future of the team that bears his name would be heading into next season. The team will field two trucks, with drivers Chase Purdy and Jack Wood coming on board to pilot the No. 4 and No. 51 trucks, respectively.
Purdy’s No. 4 truck will be a full-time team running for the championship, while Wood will run part-time along with Busch and other yet to be named drivers in the No. 51 truck.
Busch explained that there were a lot a sleepless nights trying to get things figured out for the future of KBM, but that he is happy to finally have things finalized for the team heading into 2023 and beyond.
“One of the key decisions as to whether or not we continue and go forward, was having the opportunity of being able to stay at the same level of being able to be competitive and go out there and win races and have the right resources to be able to do that,” Busch said.
“And so, it has all come to fruition where we can, we will. I believe in what we do at Kyle Busch Motorsports with the people that are there. We’ve signed on new drivers; we’ve signed on new crew chiefs. So, you know, again, all that stuff is still to be further detailed, but it’s looking really good. So, I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think we couldn’t win. That’s definitely not in our DNA.”
A Mississippi native, Purdy finished fourth in the ARCA Menards Series in 2018 before moving over to the Truck Series full-time in 2021. That season, the 22-year-old raced for GMS Racing, which he followed up with a one-year stint with Hattori Racing Enterprises this season.
In 51 Truck Series starts, Purdy has scored five top-10 finishes and 17 laps led, with his best career finish of sixth coming at Gateway in 2021.
“Having the opportunity to drive for someone like Kyle, who obviously has done a lot in this sport and is a champion at the highest level among other levels is a huge opportunity,” Purdy said. “With that comes pressure, but I think the famous term is pressure is a privilege. So, I’m really excited about it. I think he’s gonna be a great resource for me to have and we’ve got a lot of good tools over there at KBM, so I’m really excited about it.”
Wood made his debut in both the Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series in 2021, banking a top-10 finish in the Trucks, along with one top-five and four top-10 finishes in ARCA. This season, Wood returned to the Truck Series on a full-time basis with GMS Racing piloting the team’s No. 24 Chevrolet.
“I don’t think I could be more excited, right? Growing up, my late model in California was number 18 because of Kyle,” Wood said. “So, this is more than a dream come true I think for me. And there’s a lot of pressure that I think’s gonna be involved, but it’s pressure that I’m gonna put on myself because I wanna win, right? And I think KBM builds winners, right? Just excited to be here with an opportunity of a lifetime.
Busch noted that he would like to run his limit of five races in the No. 51 entry, with Wood running at least 10 races next season. He added that there has been much interest from other drivers in the Chevrolet camp to be able to fill out the balance of the Truck Series schedule in that truck.
“My races with Kyle Busch Motorsports, obviously I’m allowed five, I’d love to do the five,” Busch said. “We’ve got to be able to put that together first before I kind of announce where that is and what that is. But from there, you know, we want to fill in those other voids of available races on the 51 truck with other Cup guys, other Xfinity guys. Anybody that’s in the Chevy family of drivers, they’re more than welcome.
“Actually, there’s been probably four or five of ’em that have reached out to me already and have called me about, ‘Hey, I wanna run this race. Hey, I wanna run this race.’ So, we’re gonna have a bidding ward, a few of those, because there’s a lot of ’em that want certain races together. And we only have so many open trucks. But it’s, it’s been good. It’s been fun.”
In addition to the announcement of Purdy and Wood joining the team in 2023, Busch and REV Racing also announced that they would be entering a technical alliance for KBM to help the team move up to the Truck Series with driver Nick Sanchez driving the No. 2 Chevrolet.
“Unofficially we’ve been a part of helping former Rev Racing drivers take the next step in their NASCAR careers in the Truck Series, with Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suárez both getting victories in a KBM truck, so we’re looking forward to aligning with Max, Jennifer and everyone at Rev Racing to now officially be a part of the pipeline for young drivers in their diversity program to continue to advance into the National Series of NASCAR,” said Busch.
“Nick is an impressive young driver, winning the ARCA title this year and has had some solid runs in the Xfinity Series as well, so we’re looking forward to having him be the trendsetter of what we’re confident will be a successful program for many years to come.”
Since entering the sport as a part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, Sanchez has scored four wins, 18 top-five finishes, and 31 top-10 finishes during his time in the ARCA Menards Series, culminating in the 2022 championship.
“I’m very excited to continue driving for Max and Rev Racing in the Truck Series in 2023,” said Sanchez. “To be able to join forces with our technical partner, KBM, is a great opportunity for me to learn how to win on a regular basis. Continuing my relationship with Chevrolet and Gainbridge is something that I value greatly and this is seemingly another step in our long-term plan/goal.”