By Matt Weaver, Special Contributor
“Did you miss me?”
And with that, the Xfinity Series retirement of Kyle Busch lasted approximately one year. The winningest driver in Busch Series, Nationwide and Xfinity Series history with 102 wins in 362 starts will make five appearances for the Kaulig Racing No. 10 this season..
The No. 10 was meant to be manned by Landon Cassill for the second consecutive season but the bankruptcy of his Voyager Crypto partner left him without funding. Kaulig has turned it into a star car with a variety of drivers including AJ Allmendinger and Justin Haley.
“I’m looking forward to having some fun in the Xfinity Series again,” said Busch in a press release. “What Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice have built in just a few short years at Kaulig Racing is impressive, and with the team’s alliance with Richard Childress Racing (RCR), this made for an easy decision to be back competing in a series that I’ve had success in over the years.”
Sponsorship will be announced at a later date.
Busch dominated the series for over a decade as a moonlighting Cup Series driver, adding a new layer to the idiom ‘Buschwhacking.’ His success rate led to NASCAR instituting a series of limits for the number of races Cup Series drivers can start in lower levels. It’s currently five but not Dash4Cash, regular season finale or playoff races.
Busch winning became so polarizing to a subset of the fan base that he promised to retire from the division once he reached 100 wins.
However, he left the door open beyond that saying he would make an occasional start if Joe Gibbs Racing needed it for business reasons.
“What it means is that I’m closer to retirement,” Busch said in 2019. “I said when I get 100 I’m done. Not Trucks. Just Xfinity. I told Joe (Gibbs, team owner), if you really need me to run one or two races, I’ll help out, but I told him he doesn’t have to sell races for me anymore. I’m done.”
Busch left JGR after last season for Richard Childress Racing and it appears this makes business sense for Busch and the greater RCR campus, which Kaulig is part of in Welcome, North Carolina.