Kurt Busch Set To Join Stewart-Haas
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon to announce the addition of Kurt Busch to the team’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series roster in 2014.
Multiple media outlets reported Monday that Busch, who currently drives the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, has signed a multi-year deal to join Stewart-Haas Racing beginning next season.
Busch will team with team co-owner Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and fellow new-hire Kevin Harvick.
It was confirmed last week that Busch had been offered a contract by SHR, but Furniture Row Racing was hoping to re-sign Busch for the 2014 season. It appears that the 2004 Sprint Cup champion has made his decision.
Furniture Row Racing released a statement later Monday confirming Busch wouldn’t return to the team in 2014.
“It was always our intention to extend Kurt’s contract with Furniture Row Racing. We made him an offer last week to to continue as the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014 and beyond,” said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing in the team statement. “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.”
Stewart-Haas Racing announced in July that Ryan Newman, who joined the team when Stewart became co-owner of the team in 2009, would be leaving at the end of the season. At the time Stewart said the team was not prepared to expand to a four-car operation.
“We are not ready to expand to a fourth team,” Stewart said in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I truly wish we were able to facilitate four teams at this time. We are just not able to do that.”
With the addition of Busch to the roster, it appears a four-car team is no longer a challenge for Stewart-Haas Racing.