Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch felt that his career was over when he was released by Hendrick Motorsports.
The two-time Cup Series champion was 22 years old when his association with HMS came to an end. Given that HMS was one of the leading teams in NASCAR industry, it was a big blow for Busch at that time. Speaking about his release back then, Busch said:
“I thought my career was over. Because I was getting released by the number one team in the sport. Who else is gonna want to take a chance on a firestorm of emotions of Kyle Busch?”
Busch revealed that his relation with team owner Rick Hendrick led to the fallout between the two, leading to Busch’s departure from the team.
“I’m 18. So going and talking to Rick Hendrick who was 48, 50, however old he was (at the time), is not quite my guy.
“So there was something just not clicking with me, with the team, with whatever it was. Also, the 2007 incident at the All-Star race, my outburst and acting out a few times. It was ultimately the demise of the relationship.
“That’s why Rick said what Rick said. But, it could have been fixed. Like it shouldn’t have caused our relationship to terminate. And it ended up happening.
“Rick called me. He was like, ‘Hey, we’re going to have to go in a different direction for next year. You’re not gonna be our guy’.”
Hendrick Motorsports’ loss was Joe Gibbs Racing’s gain as Busch showed his worth to his new team by winning the Cup Series twice and consistently competing for wins seasons after season.