Kurt Busch announces Stewart-Haas NASCAR team exit

Kurt Busch has confirmed that he will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2019 NASCAR Cup series season, ahead of an expected move to Chip Ganassi Racing

Kurt Busch announces Stewart-Haas NASCAR team exit

The 2004 Cup champion's departure from SHR was first reported in August by Autosport.

Confirming his SHR exit on Twitter, Busch wrote: "I will miss everyone, especially the crew chiefs I worked with.

"Unfortunately, it's not in the cards for me to stay.

"I'm looking forward to the future and new opportunities ahead!"

SHR responded with its own tweet: "Your dedication and desire are hard to match.

"Know the next chapter of your career will be great.

"From all of us, thank you."

Busch ended a lengthy drought of 58 races without victory at Bristol this year, his first win since the 2017 Daytona 500, and went as far as the round of eight in the 2018 title race.

Should his anticipated move to Ganassi go ahead, Busch would replace Jamie McMurray - who has reportedly been offered a drive in the 2019 Daytona 500 and a non-racing role in the organisation.

While Busch's move to Ganassi has yet to be announced, it is expected that Joe Gibbs Racing's Daniel Suarez will replace Busch at SHR.

Suarez lost his Gibbs seat following Martin Truex Jr's switch to the team after his championship-winning Furniture Row Racing squad opted to close its doors at the end of 2018.

That move would mean SHR will continue with a four-car team in 2019, with Suarez joining Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola.

Autosport says

Tom Errington, American Racing Reporter

Kurt Busch had been the main protagonist in the NASCAR Cup silly season - until Barney Visser's call to shut down his Furniture Row Racing squad.

While that wrapped itself quickly with Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn heading to Gibbs, the drawn-out Busch saga continues in an otherwise tepid silly season.

Busch was always vulnerable to this sort of winter after signing a one-year extension in December last year. Briefly becoming a free agent back then, Busch looked at the alternatives before sticking with SHR.

That previous uncertainty was said to be largely down to his key sponsor Monster Energy dithering on its NASCAR commitment - which includes title sponsorship of the series.

The fact the energy drink is likely to remain just for 2019 in a new one-year deal is not a great long-term prospect, although Busch has made a habit of shorter-term deals in recent years.

Leading NASCAR team line-ups

Stewart-Haas Racing: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez*
Joe Gibbs Racing: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin
Penske: Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney
Chip Ganassi Racing: Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch*
Hendrick Motorsports: Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Alex Bowman
Richard Petty Motorsports: Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace Jr
Richard Childress Racing: Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric
Roush Fenway Racing: Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr

* not yet officially confirmed

shares
comments
Daniel Suarez: Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Cup team was not my home

Previous article

Daniel Suarez: Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Cup team was not my home

Next article

Kurt Busch completes switch to Ganassi for 2019 NASCAR Cup season

Kurt Busch completes switch to Ganassi for 2019 NASCAR Cup season
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Jim Utter
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020