Kyle Busch showed up for practice and qualifying at Phoenix Raceway for the NASCAR season finale in his familiar M&M's-sponsored Toyota Camry, despite being sanctioned by the series for a code of conduct violation last week at Martinsville.
Busch used the word "retarded" during a post-race rant about fellow driver Brad Keselowski, who had crashed into him on the final lap of the race.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver apologized on Twitter for the remark and was ordered by NASCAR to complete a sensitivity training course before the start of the 2022 season, but was allowed to compete at Phoenix.
Mars Wrigley, the maker of M&M's, did not respond to several requests for comment on the situation from FOX Business, but its continued backing of Busch differs from a similar incident a decade ago.
Busch was put on probation and fined $50,000 near the end of the 2011 season for intentionally crashing into fellow driver Ron Hornady Jr. during a Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, leading the M&M's brand to suspend its sponsorship of his Cup Series car for the final two races. Interstate Batteries, another of Joe Gibbs Racing's sponsors, stepped in for the events.
The current value of M&Ms sponsorship of the team is not public, but previous contracts have reportedly been worth over $10 million annually to the team.
Busch, who is not a championship contender, qualified in the 18th position for the Phoenix race.