It’s impossible to think of Kyle Busch and not imagine him, or his No 18 Camry, decked out with the M&M’s logo all over it.
But race fans will soon have to get used to seeing him in different garb.
M&M’s/Mars won’t be sponsoring Busch/Joe Gibbs Racing following the conclusion of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. They’ve been partners for nearly the last 15 years.
Busch made the news official Monday with a statement on Twitter and his website.
“It’s hard to put into words the appreciation I have for the Mars family, their associates and their brands that have supported me since 2008,” Busch said in the statement on his website. “On the track we?ve won 55 races and 2 championships together. But off the track we?ve built friendships that will live way beyond 2022. The Mars family has always accepted me for who I am and I?ll always be thankful for that. Here?s to many more trips to victory lane in 2022!”
Losing a sponsor like that, such as when Lowes dropped Jimmie Johnson, is a huge deal for the driver and NASCAR at large. Having a huge business like Mars sponsoring a driver brings a ton of money to the sport. However, as FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass pointed out on Twitter, there are a few ways to spin this in a positive light. It gives Busch the opportunity to field offers, which one would imagine will be plentiful, and perhaps he can get a sponsor that’s also interested in IndyCar.
Pockrass also noted that they were aware of this possibility dating back to the summer, so this has not been sprung on them out of the blue.
Who will be in the running to replace M&Ms isn’t entirely clear. However, that undoubtedly will be a non-racing storyline to follow in the upcoming season.