HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Kyle Busch, the talented younger brother of Winston Cup driver Kurt Busch, has decided not to sign with Roush Racing when he turns 18 later this year.
Busch was under contract with car owner Jack Roush in 2001, but it was voided when NASCAR passed a minimum age requirement of 18 to race in any of its series. The plan was for Busch to re-sign after his birthday in May and begin running fulltime in the Trucks Series.
Instead, he informed the team he would not sign with them at all.
Roush hired 23-year-old Carl Edwards on Monday to run the full trucks schedule, beginning with the Feb. 14 season-opener at Daytona.
"Carl is a very talented driver and he will complement our program really well," Roush said. "I expect this team to really excel as the season gets underway."
Roush, who fields the Winston Cup car driven by Kurt Busch, did not comment on Kyle. But a company spokeswoman said the younger Busch was under no obligation to sign with Roush and did not reveal his future plans.
Objections over Kyle Busch's age were first raised at a truck race late in the 2001 season when Marlboro, sponsor of the weekend events in Fontana, Calif., said the 16-year-old could not compete. That was because of a settlement agreement between big tobacco companies and state attorneys general that precluded the involvement of persons under 18 years old in events sponsored by the companies.
NASCAR later that year passed its age limit, halting Kyle Busch's plans to run the entire 2002 Trucks schedule for Roush. He competed in smaller series instead while waiting to turn 18.
Don Radebaugh, spokesman for the Automobile Racing Club of America, said Kyle Busch does meet the experience requirements for the ARCA series, meaning he can race in its series-opener at Daytona.