NASCAR Cup Series
Might Kyle Busch, others ever return to former Cup Series teams?
NASCAR Cup Series

Might Kyle Busch, others ever return to former Cup Series teams?

Published Jun. 19, 2024 11:00 a.m. ET

Kyle Busch left the door open to returning to either of his previous teams last week.

It seemed that he was just putting out there the "never say never" card, considering who would have ever thought he would be driving for a car owner who once decked him? 

In the moment, it didn't seem what he said Saturday was a calculated message to Richard Childress Racing to say he's on the way out. It appeared to be Busch speaking, maybe a little bit awkwardly, about reality.


For the record, don't count on him ever returning to Joe Gibbs Racing or Hendrick Motorsports, and of those two very, very unlikely scenarios, rank a return to Hendrick above a return to JGR. And if talking remote possibilities, don't rule out Busch going to another former rival like RFK Racing as much as any other team.

It would be hard to heal the wounds left (on both sides) by the Busch-JGR split. And Hendrick has such a solid stable, it probably would look for a driver who could be a championship contender for 10-to-20 years, not a driver with a fiery personality who is about to turn 40.

But this got me thinking about which drivers could return to a former team. So here's a look at some, in order of the points standings:

Tyler Reddick to RCR? If for some reason things went sour for Reddick at 23XI, it is possible he could return to RCR. Yes, there were hard feelings with the way it was handled. But Reddick has that racer mentality that RCR folks love.

Brad Keselowski to Penske? That is hard to envision. Keselowski left Penske so he could have more of a say in the competition approach of the team. He wouldn't get that to return.

Chris Buescher to JTG Daugherty Racing? Buescher could return to either of his homes (JTG or Front Row) if he wanted to as he left both those organizations on good terms. But it's hard to envision RFK wanting to let go of Buescher. 

Joey Logano to JGR? It could happen if the stars aligned where Logano didn't get a Penske offer and JGR had an opening.

Daniel Suarez to JGR? Never say never, but Suarez seems to have found a home at Trackhouse and JGR has had plenty of opportunities to hire him if it wanted.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to RFK? Nah. Stenhouse's Cup career likely ends at JTG Daugherty Racing.

Erik Jones to JGR? This one is possible, although it's not going to happen with the JGR No. 19 car (Chase Briscoe seems in line for that). Sure, Jones got released by JGR to make room for Christopher Bell, but if there was a need for a veteran while they develop other drivers and JGR wanted a known commodity when it comes to a driver, Jones would be at the top of the list.

Justin Haley to Kaulig? Unlikely but possible in the years down the road. Like many others on this list, the stars would have to align where they both needed each other. 

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including over 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass.


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