Sponsorships on the cars are as important to racing as the drivers themselves.  Fans, spotters, and announcers all look for that brightly coloured cars racing around the track to locate their favourite drivers.

But like the drivers, the sponsors also change from time to time.

On December 20 the Mars Incorporated candy company have announced that the 2022 racing season will be their final season of sponsoring a car in NASCAR.  Mars has been a part of NASCAR and Joe Gibbs Racing for 15 years.  Currently, Mars with M&M’s as the primary paint scheme sponsors the number 18 car driven by Kyle Busch.  Prior to sponsoring Busch’s car, Mars was a sponsor for Ernie Irvan.

The largest privately owned company in the world, Mars produces numerous forms of candy including M&M’s, Skittles, Snickers, and Wrigley.  They have been providing candy lovers with treats for 110 years.

Joe Gibbs Racing president Dave Alpern spoke on the announcement saying, “I hope in 2022 we can focus on thanking [Mars], and we’ll be really excited to announce who will be on our car with Interstate [Batteries] – the 18’s other major sponsor – in 2023.”  He added, “if you had told me in ’07, when we started talking to them for the ’08 season, that they’ll be a 15-year primary sponsor … we all would have taken it and run with it.”

JGR owner Joe Gibbs also spoke on the announcement saying, “one of the great things I love about NASCAR is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships.  Mars has been a tremendous example of that. We have experienced so much together over the past 15 years, including two Cup Series championships, while developing friendships that will extend well beyond next year.”  He concluded with, “I know everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing feels that way and I’m glad we have the 2022 season to celebrate Mars and the contributions they have made to our sport over the past three decades.”

In 2022 Kyle Busch will celebrate 20 years in NASCAR – 15 of them with JGR; Mars has sponsored his cars for all 15 of those years.  Busch took to Twitter to add his voice to his feelings on Mars saying, “my appreciation for the entire Mars family is eternal. With 55 wins and two Cup titles together, we’ve built friendships that will last way past 2022. The Mars family has always accepted me for who I am and I’ll always be thankful for that. Here’s to many more trips to VL (Victory Lane) in ‘22!” 

He added, “I have been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to represent Mars for nearly 15 years now.  During this time, Mars Associates have been like family to myself, Samantha, and Brexton. In particular, my friendship with the Mars Family will be something that will last a lifetime. We have a relationship so much deeper than just having the honor of driving their colorful cars.”

Busch concluded with, “I know our 18 team will work as hard as ever to bring them to victory lane as many times as we can in 2022 and hopefully even another championship we can celebrate together.”

While he currently ranks ninth on the all time Cup Series win list with 55 – number one among active drivers -; Kyle Busch has amassed over 200 career wins across all three NASCAR racing series – the Camping World Truck, Xfinity, and Cup Series.

feature photo credit: M&M’s World Las Vegas NASCAR car 2018.jpg