NSCS: M&M’s Off the No. 18 For the Rest of 2011, Will Return For 2012

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The situation keeps changing more and more by the day.

It was announced Thursday night that Mars Chocolate has decided to pull their M&M’s brand sponsorship of Kyle Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the remainder of the 2011 season. In their place for the final two races, long-time JGR sponsor, Interstate Batteries, will sponsor Busch and the team for the remainder of the 2011 season in the Sprint Cup Series.

Busch, who was parked during Friday night’s truck race and eventually the entire weekend became the first driver to be parked by NASCAR since Robby Gordon in August of 2007.

This past weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway, Mars Chocolate made clear that they did not condone the actions of Busch in Friday night’s Camping World Truck race, saying the did not meet the ‘values’ of the company.

“We strongly support Mars’ decision,” said team owner Joe Gibbs. “This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change.”

This announcement coming after much speculation that Busch would possibly lose his ride with Joe Gibbs Racing, as well as the possible move of M&M’s to another team.

A statement from Mars official said, ” Kyle Busch’s actions were unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars, but the company believe he has a desire to change.”

This coming after Z-Line Designs, who sponsors Joe Gibbs Racing’s No.18 driven primarily by Busch in the Nationwide Series had asked for Denny Hamlin to drive the car in the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Reports of Mars contacting Nationwide Series driver, Aric Almirola to pilot the JGR’s 18 in the remaining two races of the season surfaced on Thursday afternoon. JGR also had reports of contact with Alimrola about driving the car, but the reports were disbanded later on in the afternoon into the evening on Thursday.

Mars did however say the would be back on the No. 18 of Busch barring any further actions that would make them think otherwise of the sponsorship.

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