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Gibbs admits doubts about Busch competition

The deal to release Busch from Nationwide commitments for JGR has meant that the team can concentrate on a full-season campaign for Brian Scott, with analysts wondering if the team are lining him up as a possible replacement for Joey Logano in case Logano has another flat season in 2012.

But the main reason for allowing Kyle Busch to set up in competition with JGR in Nationwide seems to part of a larger strategy of getting Busch to cut back on his racing commitments this year. The feeling is that simultaneous runs in Cup, Nationwide and Trucks were leading to too much pressure on Busch - and resulting in the notorious on-track blow-ups such as the retaliation on Ron Hornaday Jr. that saw Busch booted out of all races at Texas last autumn.

"What we tried to do was sit with him and work out a plan for him this year," said Joe Gibbs. "Obviously part of that is reducing his schedule a little bit so he can focus more on certain things."

Busch himself insisted that Gibbs hadn't ordered him to stop driving in the Camping World Truck Series altogether, however.

"They said, 'We'd rather you not run Truck races.' So it wasn't necessarily an outright 'no,'" he insisted. "But it was a highly recommended, 'Let's leave the Trucks alone.'"

JGR has also benefitted financially from Busch's new relationship in Nationwide with drinks brand Monster Energy. As well as bankrolling the #54 Kyle Busch Motorsports for the full Nationwide Series season, Monster have also signed up as backer for Busch's #18 JGR Cup car.

"They get something out of this, too," pointed out Busch. "I brought them an associate sponsor along with it. So they can't complain too much!"




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Kyle Busch (right) announces the signing of his brother Kurt to race with him in the Kyle Busch Motorsports #54 Nationwide Series car in 2012. [Picture Credit: Kyle Busch Motorsports]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, sits on the M&M`s Pit Box after being parked by NASCAR for the Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 6, 2011, in Fort Worth, Texas. [Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
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]
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, leads Kevin Harvick, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on August 1, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, will be on the front row after qualifying for second position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, poses with the trophy in Victory Lane with wife Samantha and son Brexton Locke after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, places the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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