HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Kyle Busch has signed on with Joe
Gibbs Racing for the 2008 Nextel Cup campaign. That gives the team
a powerful three-car punch that should keep it on pace with
Busch has spent the past three seasons at Hendrick, but was
dropped in June when the team made room for Dale Earnhardt Junior.
That put the 22-year-old driver on the free agent market, and he
had no shortage of suitors in a busy 10-week negotiating period.
After a failed bid to land Earnhardt, Gibbs turned to Busch, who
will team with two-time series champion Tony Stewart and 2007 title
contender Denny Hamlin.
It creates a lineup of three solid championship contenders for a
team that has won three of the last seven Nextel Cup titles. But it
also gives JGR three strong-willed individuals who subscribe to
winning at all costs, and believe there's no such thing as friends
on the race track. All three have tangled with others on the track,
including Stewart and Busch last season, and even Stewart with
teammate Hamlin this year.
Busch will replace J.J. Yeley in the number-18 car beginning next season. Yeley was in the final year of his contract.