Kurt Busch extends Penske deal
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, April 24th 2010, 08:23 GMT|
Kurt Busch has confirmed he has a new multi-year deal with Penske Racing from 2011, while he expects San Hornish Jr to remain in the team's third car next year.
Earlier this week, Penske announced that Shell would be the new sponsor for Busch in the #22 Dodge in 2011, while his team-mate Brad Keselowski would move to the #2 Miller Lite-backed Dodge that Busch currently drives.
Speaking at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday, the former Sprint Cup champion said he had not considered racing for other teams and that since Roger Penske picked up his contract option for 2011 earlier this year, talks started towards making a new deal.
"I knew that I was committed through 2010 and 2011's option was picked up by Roger," said Busch. "So what that meant was a perfect opportunity to talk about what the future could bring; not just 2011, but 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond.
"We started with just a light-hearted sit down at a dinner one night, almost like one of those napkin sketches of, 'Hey, this is what I'd like to see and this is what might happen.' Then this [Shell/Pennzoil] opportunity just came up a few weeks ago and it changed the whole landscape that we ended up with.
"I didn't talk to any other teams. When I weighed my options personally, with my wife Eva and my manager [John Caponigro], we looked at other teams, we tried to find scenarios that would fit for us, but none of them were as powerful as creating the longevity with Penske."
Busch said that Shell's wish was to have him as the driver and that there was no option for him to carry on with his current sponsor. After signing his new deal, he says he hopes to be able to end his career at Penske.
"I definitely look to have my career end here at Penske Racing," said Busch. "Hopefully that's 10-15 years down the road. Being only 31 years old, there's still so much potential, blue sky, and so much fun that we can have together. I look at the business-to-business relationship as being an important factor in signing with Roger."
The 2004 Cup champion also revealed that Penske will pick up its option on his team-mate Hornish for next year, despite his main sponsor Mobil 1 most likely leaving the outfit at the end of the season. Busch hopes Penske can secure a new long-term deal for Hornish, along with a new sponsor for his car.
"Sam is definitely part of our programme and will be a part of Penske Racing," Busch said. "I know that 2011 will be picked up for his [contract] option. He will be driving for Penske next year.
"What I hope happens in the upcoming months is that a secure sponsor comes to allow him to sign a multi-year deal and move forward. That way we can put all of that behind us in the summer months and be ready to rip in 2011."
Penske currently runs three cars in the Sprint Cup Series, plus two in the Nationwide Series for Justin Allgaier and Brad Keselowski.