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Busch dumped by sponsors for last races of 2011

Kyle Busch has been dropped by his main sponsor, confectionery brand M&M's, for the rest of the season following Busch's on-track retaliation against Ron Hornaday that saw him penalised at Texas.
Kyle Busch's position in NASCAR remains at risk this weekend, after it was revealed that his primary sponsor - M&M's, part of the Mars, Inc. confectionery giant - had pulled its financial support for Busch for the remainder of the 2011 Sprint Cup season.

The decision by Mars follows the furore that surrounded Busch after he intentionally wrecked Ron Hornaday during last week's Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch was parked for the whole weekend by NASCAR following the crash.

Mars' Chief Consumer Officer Debra A. Sandler insisted that "Mars and the M&M's brand strongly support the partnership we have with Joe Gibbs Racing and are committed to NASCAR. Yet, Kyle's recent actions are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars."

As a result, the company has pulled its branding and its financial support from the #18 car for the remaining two races of the season - this weekend's event at Phoenix International Raceway, and next weekend's season finale at Homestead-Miami.

However, the company added that they would return to the livery of the #18 in 2012 as normal, with Busch still at the wheel - proving he behaves himself.

“While we do not condone Kyle's recent actions, we do believe that he has shown remorse and has expressed a desire to change," said Sandler. "We believe our decision will have a positive impact on Kyle and will help him return next season ready to win."

Joe Gibbs, the owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, said that he and the team "strongly support Mars' decision," and added that "This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change where Kyle can continue racing in a way we can all be proud of."

Busch had been cleared by NASCAR to race this weekend in the Kobalt Tools 500, but it emerged midweek that JGR were having to prepare a contingency plan in case Mars demanded that he be parked as a condition of not pulling their sponsorship from the team altogether.

"[JGR] simply asked if I would be available, and I told JD to check with my bosses, and that's as far as that went," said Aric Almirola, revealing an approach from JGR president JD Gibbs about possibly taking over the wheel of the #18 Cup car this weekend. "I've haven't gotten a phone call back, so I assume everything is taken care of."




Related Pictures

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Team owner Joe Gibbs speaks to members of the media after Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, was parked for the weekend following an incident with Ron Hornaday Jr. in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, enters the NASCAR hauler prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. [Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Traxxas Toyota, and Ron Hornaday Jr., driver of the #33 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, hit the wall after an incident in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4, 2011, in Fort Worth, Texas. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
#M&M`s Toyota driven by Kyle Busch [Picture Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kyle Busch was fastest in NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race practice driving the #18 M&M`s Toyota at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20 in Charlotte, NC [Picture credit: Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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