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Kyle Busch had a memorable 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, and not necessarily for all the right reasons. His single win on the Bristol dirt secured him a berth in the playoffs, which turned out to be a short stay, but it wasn’t his on-track performance making headlines much of the year but his unexpected free agency, which shockingly ended with him announcing that he was leaving for Richard Childress Racing in 2023. 

To close out the 2022 campaign and wrap up his official responsibilities under the Joe Gibbs Racing umbrella, Busch joined the 15 other playoff drivers in Nashville for the end-of-the-year awards banquet. Before the night’s festivities began, the driver shared on social media a behind-the-scenes look at his entrance into the venue with his wife, Samantha, including his smooth move. Wait for it.  

Kyle Busch runs final season with Joe Gibbs Racing 

Kyle Busch entered the 2022 season as the only current active driver with multiple Cup championships. He had been a driving force for success at Joe Gibbs Racing for 15 years. His name was synonymous with JGR and M&M’s. No one could have imagined him anywhere else.

April was an adventurous month for Busch, as he won his only race of the year on the Bristol dirt, the beneficiary of Chase Briscoe wrecking Tyler Reddick on the final lap, allowing the No. 18 to sneak by and claim victory. Interestingly, the luster from that win was short-lived and overshadowed just a week later when the driver bluntly expressed his frustration during a media session about not having a new contract signed with JGR, twice referring reporters to the team owner for more information.

Little did anyone know, but that was the beginning of the end. As we all know now, the driver and organization failed to come to an agreement and, in September, announced that he was departing JGR after 15 years and joining RCR in 2023.

Busch makes smooth move on wife at awards ceremony

While Busch made the postseason via his win at Bristol, engine troubles proved costly in the first round of the playoffs, and he didn’t advance to the Round of 12. Despite that early exit, he was one of the 16 Cup drivers invited to Nashville for the annual awards banquet to celebrate the champions across all three series. 

In his final official responsibility as a driver with JGR, Busch shared the beginning of his night with fans in a video on Twitter that showed him and wife Samantha entering the Music City Center. 

“Got a hot date tonight,” he wrote.

The video started with a front view of the driver, wearing a black tuxedo, and his wife, in a long-flowing red dress, as the pair entered the venue. They walked past the camera operator, which then followed as the smiling couple held hands and lovingly looked at each other, sharing a few words. At one point, Busch let go of his wife’s hand and then placed it briefly on her butt in a sincere public display of affection.   

Wife has been biggest cheerleader through a tough season

Kyle Busch and Samantha Busch at banquet
Kyle Busch and Samantha Busch attend the NASCAR Awards and Champion Celebration at the Music City Center on December 01, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Joe Gibbs Responds to Kyle Busch Recent Remarks Critical of Him and Addresses How Driver’s Time With Organization Is Coming to Sour End 

In another tweet later, Busch shared a photo of the pair from the red carpet, acknowledging the significance of his wife’s role in what was unquestionably one of the most difficult years of his Hall of Fame career.

“Here’s to another season. Couldn’t do this without u @SamanthaBusch,” he wrote.

Samantha has been Busch’s biggest cheerleader throughout his career, and this year, while welcoming the couple’s second child and tending to their young son’s own burgeoning racing career, has remained steadfast during the challenging and uncertain times at JGR, as she displayed multiple times during the Race for the Championship docuseries. 

Now with the 2022 season officially behind them, Busch and his wife are starting a new chapter, and one both the couple and their fans hold out hope will include more wins and championships in the not-so-distant future.