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Busch Headed To Stewart-Haas

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, August 26 2013

Kurt Busch is on the move again. (RacinToday file photo by Jeff Hood)

Stewart-Haas Racing announced on Tuesday that it is expanding to a fourth Sprint Cup team and that former Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch will drive that car.

SHR held a press conference in North Carolina about “future expansion” of the team, which is co-owned by Tony Stewart and Gene Haas.

“I’ve had a tremendous amount of respect for Kurt’s talent and determination for as long as he’s been racing in the Sprint Cup Series,” Stewart said. “Kurt is extremely knowledgeable, and his input will make all of Stewart-Haas Racing better.

“When Gene Haas laid out his plans for what he wanted to do in regard to this race team’s future, which included bringing Kurt on board in a fourth car, it was impressive. You can’t stand still in this business. You have to constantly improve. Gene’s investment in this race team ensures the success of Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come.”

On Monday, Furniture Row Racing announced that Busch has informed team officials that Busch will not return for the 2014 season.

“It was always our intention to extend Kurt’s contract with Furniture Row Racing,”  Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing said in a statement released Monday. “We made him an offer last week to to continue as the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014 and beyond. Though he did not accept our offer we respect his decision and wish him future success. His driving skill and being a dedicated team player will always be appreciated at Furniture Row Racing. But for right now the main focus for Kurt and the team is to qualify for the Chase and contend for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series championship.

“Furniture Row Racing’s technical and engineering programs along with a talented road crew have made great strides this season, which have been evident with the consistently fast race cars that we have brought to the track week in and week out. We, along with our technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, are deeply committed to continuing the work in progress. We are currently in a search process for a new driver in 2014, one who shares the same commitment and winning attitude that we all do at Furniture Row Racing.”

Busch joined Furniture Row Racing with six races remaining in the 2012 season.

He currently sits 12th in driver points, six markers shy of 10th with two races remaining before the Chase field is set. The top-10 drivers and two wildcard entries qualify for the 10-race Chase playoffs.

The native of Las Vegas, Nev. started his Cup career driving for Roush Racing in 2000. In 2004, he won the Cup championship for Roush. In 2005, he was let go by Roush after 34 races because of off track problems.

From there he moved to Penske Racing, where he was let go after the 2011 season.

From Penske, Busch moved to Phoenix Racing for a year. From there, to Furniture Row.

Busch has 24 victories in 459 Cup starts.

At Stewart-Haas, Busch will be teamed with Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.

“Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race team,” Busch said. “Every team wants to win, but the preparation and resources Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone at SHR put into their racecars each and every week is incredible,” Busch said. “This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I’m grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for providing me this opportunity. I didn’t think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas.”

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, August 26 2013
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