By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
Days after announcing his official departure from Stewart-Haas Racing, Kurt Busch has landed a ride with Chip Ganassi Racing for the upcoming 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, taking over the No. 1 Chevrolet.
In his 20th season in NASCAR’s top division, Busch will be bringing Monster Energy on board as a primary sponsor and he will team up with Kyle Larson in the team’s two-car stable.
“I am tremendously proud to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing and the prestigious group of alumni,” said Busch. “Along with Monster Energy, winning races and competing at the highest level, it’s what we are all about. Ganassi’s forward thinking approach is why I have decided to commit all my years of Monster Energy Cup experience to CGR. Let’s win, let’s have fun!”
Busch first started in the Cup Series back in 2000, running a part-time schedule with Roush-Fenway Racing before going full-time in 2001. Along the way, Busch has also driven for Roger Penske, James Finch, Furniture Row Racing, and Stewart Haas Racing over his two decades behind the wheel.
In 648 career starts, Busch has scored 30 wins, including the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, and the Bristol Night Race, along with 137 top-five finishes, 280 top-10 finishes, and 27 poles. Back in 2004, Busch reached the pinnacle of the sport by claiming his lone Cup Series championship.
“We have had the good fortune of having a lot of great drivers here at Chip Ganassi Racing across all forms of racing and Kurt Busch adds to that list of great drivers,” said team owner Chip Ganassi.
“He is a former NASCAR Cup Series champion and Daytona 500 winner and I believe still has a burning desire to win races and compete for a championship. In addition, getting to work with and represent a brand like Monster Energy makes it even that much more exciting.”
According to the Associated Press, the contract is a one-year deal and it is expected that 2019 will be Busch’s final year in the Cup Series. However, Busch noted in a Tuesday teleconference that is not necessarily the case and his future past 2019 depends a lot on how well the upcoming season goes for him and his team.
“For me, I know right now I’m all in, no matter what its going to be,” said Busch. “Whether it’s 36 races and a championship run or as a pact like Chip and I have talked about along with Monster, if we come out of the gate gangbusters and we’ve got five wins by July Daytona, well let’s talk about 2020.
“But for me, the way that everything has panned out with my switch from SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing) to Ganassi Racing I had always talked about 2019 and that being my 20th full-time year, that’s a number I had in my mind, but anytime you get an opportunity like this and now seeing everybody on the shop floor this morning, you don’t know what is around the next corner as far as motivation and challenges. So, for right now I see it all in and we will see how it goes from there.”