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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]
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#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]
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, stands on pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position Friday, September 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon is in the Chase. Sunday will determine who advances to the next phase of the Chase, the Contender 12.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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