Resolution for Busch and Gibbs found through partnership

Busch sits atop the pit box during the Sprint Cup race at Texas
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 
"I wanna say first of all how proud I am of our sponsors," said Joe Gibbs on Friday morning during a news conference held at Phoenix International Raceway, site of Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race. As Gibbs, the 20 year NASCAR owner, sat alongside driver Kyle Busch, one thing was evident, both appeared to be a little worse for wear given the emotions of the past seven days. 

Although Mars/M&M's has pulled their sponsorship from the team for the final two races of the season they will be back aboard the No. 18 Camry in 2012 with Kyle Busch as the driver. Taking over for the final two events will be long time JGR sponsor Interstate Batteries. Reminding everyone that NASCAR is a team sport, Gibbs pointed out that removing Busch from the car for the remaining races would not only have hurt Busch, but the entire team as well as the sport as a whole. Gibbs went on to remark that "this could have a positive impact on Kyle and I'm committed to him."

Busch, who appeared tired and emotionally drained expressed his apologies to the team and sponsors saying, "this has been a trying week for myself, and my wife and everyone at M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Interstate Batteries...I'm utmost all apologetic to everybody that's been having to go through this situation." Busch went on to express how he hopes to learn from this incident and how he understands he's lost respect in the garage and with his sponsors after his actions at Texas. 

Since being parked at TMS much speculation had surrounded Busch, Gibbs, and the team's primary sponsors with many wondering if Busch would be fired or if the long-time NASCAR sponsor would decide to pull out because of Busch's history of retaliation on the track. Gibbs said that the team and sponsors worked together throughout the week in a "partnership" to come up with the best situation and that he is fully supportive of the final decision. According to Gibbs he never considered releasing Busch from his contract though Busch did say that he was worried he may have done irreparable damage to his relationships with the team and sponsors and he feared losing his job.

Gibbs declined to comment on how the team would deal with any additional fines or compensation for Busch as well as declining to answer if Mars/M&M's would be issued a refund for the final two races. Gibbs pointed out that there will be additional measures taken but that those would be dealt with internally and not in the public spotlight. 
Resolution for Busch and Gibbs found through partnership Resolution for Busch and Gibbs found through partnership Reviewed by Katy Lindamood on Friday, November 11, 2011 Rating: 5