Joe Gibbs Racing has signed driver Kyle Busch to a multi-year contract extension, the team formally announced on Thursday.
Busch has driven the No. 18 Toyota for JGR in the Sprint Cup Series since the start of the 2008 season. He has 24 career wins in NASCAR's premier series, including 20 with JGR. Busch has also made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in five of his seven years in the series, but did not qualify for the playoffs this past season, finishing 13th in the point standings.
"I'm passionate about winning, and that was a big factor in deciding to re- sign with Joe Gibbs Racing," Busch said. "I think JGR gives me the best opportunity to win a championship in the Cup Series for (sponsors) M&M's and Interstate Batteries. I know that everyone on our team is committed to that goal and will push towards making that a reality in 2013."
JGR also revealed that it will field Busch's No. 54 Toyota full-time in the Nationwide Series during the 2013 season. With Adam Stevens serving as the crew chief and Monster Energy as the primary sponsor for the No. 54 team, Busch will drive the car in most of the Nationwide races this upcoming season. JGR will announce additional drivers for the team at a later date.
Busch holds the record for most Nationwide race wins with 51. Last year, Busch, in his first season as driver and owner of the No. 54, was winless in 22 Nationwide starts.
JGR's driver lineup in Sprint Cup this year includes: Busch, Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota) and Matt Kenseth, who joined the organization to drive the No. 20 Toyota this season after spending the past 14 years with Roush Fenway Racing.
"This is a big deal for us," team president J.D. Gibbs said. "It's no secret that you have to have great drivers to win in NASCAR, and in the past year, we've been able to secure long-term deals with Kyle and Denny, and of course, we were able to add Matt as well. Kyle is a big part of our success at JGR, and we're thrilled to know he will be with us for a long time."
JGR did not disclose the length of Busch's contract and the financial terms of his deal.