Brad Keselowski has heard the rumors and if they are true then Kyle Busch is out of a ride until Daytona and now without sponsorship. Busch was parked this week at Texas due to actions in the Camping World Truck Series when he wrecked fellow competitor Ron Hornaday under caution.
The #18 of Busch had been adorned with colors and products of Mars, namely their M&M candies. Mars was one of the few companies that still sponsored a car for the bulk of a season, something that will surely impact Joe Gibbs Racing going forward as any plans to run Busch in 2012 will require a new sponsor now.
Busch is the most polarizing figure in the NASCAR garage and was recently fined $50,000 for his actions in that truck series race.
UPDATE: Bob Pockrass of Scene Daily says on his twitter “On Kyle Busch: JGR still hasn’t confirmed if he’ll race Cup at PIR. I lean toward he’ll race but wouldn’t be surprised either way.”
UPDATE: Jayski.com notes that “the weekly race preview for JGR/Kyle Busch has not been released as of yet when it usually comes out on Tuesday.” Not sure if it means anything. With many teams making their way to Phoenix today, we could hear word from someone at Gibbs on whether Busch will drive the car or not.
UPDATE: AP reports Z-line designs has asked Joe Gibbs Racing to remove Busch from the Nationwide entry at Homestead. Denny Hamlin is expected to fill that seat.
UPDATE: David Newton of ESPN wrote the following just moments ago
AVONDALE, Ariz. — Aric Almirola told ESPN.com on Thursday he has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about possibly replacing Kyle Busch in the final two Sprint Cup races and is awaiting final word from the organization.
ESPN’s Marty Smith reported on SportsCenter and NASCARNow that Busch, according to sources, will be in the No. 18 Cup car this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway and next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Multiple sources said the car likely will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries instead of M&Ms, which was scheduled to be on the car.
UPDATE An AP source at Yahoo Sports News has said they were told Kyle Busch will be racing the final two races, but with Interstate Batteries on his car and not M&M’s. They spoke anonymously as plans for Kyle’s future are still not known.
UPDATE: Jenna Fryer is claiming that M&M’s will be back on the #18 of Kyle Busch in 2012.