Kyle Busch will no longer be competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series after reaching 100 wins during the 2021 season. Who will fill his seat?
After several years of competing in the maximum allowable number of NASCAR Xfinity Series races, Kyle Busch announced that he will indeed be stepping away from the sport’s second highest level of competition after hitting the 100-win mark during the 2021 season.
Busch entered the 2021 season with 97 wins and went five for five, winning at Circuit of the Americas, Texas Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Road America and Atlanta Motor Speedway to bring his career win total to 102.
Right now, the limit on Cup Series drivers with at least five years of experience competing in the Xfinity Series is set at five races, so replacing Busch doesn’t seem like too much of a task.
But while they plan to downsize from four cars to three, Joe Gibbs Racing do intend to keep the “star car” in 2022. With Ty Gibbs, the primary driver of this car, believed to be on his way to a full-time ride with the team for 2022, it’s time to look at the options.
Kyle Busch replacements: No. 1 – Bubba Wallace
Bubba Wallace makes the most sense here on many levels. He could be a direct five-race replacement for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the “star car”, and it would benefit all parties involved.
Wallace drives for the Joe Gibbs Racing-affiliated 23XI Racing team in the Cup Series, and they are set to enter their second season next year. Additional seat time for Wallace as he continues to develop could be huge, and given the fact that 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin is a Joe Gibbs Racing driver himself, he could and should have some pull here.
Every single Joe Gibbs Racing Cup Series driver has made at least one Xfinity Series start with Joe Gibbs Racing since the start of the 2021 season.
While Wallace doesn’t technically drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, he also made an Xfinity Series start last year, his first since 2017, for Hattori Racing Enterprises. Why not add a few more in 2022 behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing car that is currently lacking confirmed drivers?