Kyle Busch shocked by Edwards, looks to future with Suarez and Jones

Former NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch has admitted he was as surprised as everyone else about the sudden retirement of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards, but believes the team can be as successful as ever in 2017 without him.

Kyle Busch shocked by Edwards, looks to future with Suarez and Jones
Carl Edwards
Kyle Busch and Travis Pastrana talk to the media
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Carl Edwards wipes a tear from his eye as he announces his retirement from NASCAR
Carl Edwards faces the NASCAR media as he announces his retirement
Kyle Busch talks to Motorsport.com Editor in Chief Charles Bradley
Daniel Suarez, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Daniel Suarez
Kyle Busch in the VUHL 05
Toyota Racing NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Chase contenders Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
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Edwards only joined JGR in 2015, having driven for Roush Fenway Racing for his entire Cup career until that point, but announced his immediate retirement from fulltime racing last week.

Edwards and Busch haven’t always seen eye to eye as teammates – Edwards winning in controversial style at Richmond this year after shoving Busch out of the way for the win.

But Busch says he gives Edwards credit for hanging up his helmet on his own terms.

“It was a shock to me,” Busch told Motorsport.com at the Race of Champions in Miami.

“I think it was a shock for the whole industry, let alone our team at Joe Gibbs Racing. We found out the Sunday night before the announcement was made on Wednesday, Joe called us all and basically told us what was happening, what was going on.

“It comes a huge surprise but you’ve got to give a guy credit when it’s due – and that’s just having the ability to say ‘I’m done, I don’t want to do this anymore’ and that’s what he said. Hopefully we can go on as a team and be successful even though we won’t have Carl.”

Looking to the future

Busch has been instrumental in the development of two drivers coming up through the Joe Gibbs Racing system, and says he looks forward to working alongside them in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series this year.

“We’ve got two rookies coming out of Joe Gibbs Racing for this year: Erik Jones is going to Furniture Row and you also have Daniel Suarez – both Toyota teammates of ours. It’s going to be fun, looking forward to working with the both of ’em.

“I’ve helped them come through the Truck Series and Xfinity Series ranks, and now they’re in the big time in the Cup Series. I expect a lot of both of them, they’re both really talented, they do a good job and it’s going to be fun to watch as they evolve.”

In terms of his own goals, Busch said it’s the same target as ever.

“We had a great year in 2015 coming off the injury and being able to go win the championship,” he added.

“Last year we made it back to the Final Four, and every year we’ve just get into that final four and be eligible to win the championship at Homestead.” 

Watch Kyle Busch interview at ROC...

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