Kurt Busch inks extension to remain in NASCAR at Ganassi
It’s a rare multi-year agreement from Monster Energy
What originally was conceived as a swan song season of sorts has turned into a multi-year partnership for Kurt Busch, Monster Energy and Chip Ganassi Racing.
Busch and Monster will remain with the organization after signing a multi-year extension. Busch left Stewart-Haas Racing last year and agreed to pilot the No. 1 Ganassi Chevrolet. He has since experienced a resurgence of sorts.
After winning at Kentucky in July, Busch teased that he could be enticed to return and it was largely dependent on Monster’s willingness to continue racing together and if Busch felt he could remain competitive.
“I think he and Kyle (Larson) have had a great time being teammates,” car owner Chip Ganassi said Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. “I think it has made Kyle a better driver having Kurt as a teammate. He brings a lot off the track. He brought a lot of guys on that 1 team their first Cup win. I’m very proud to keep him a part of this team for the foreseeable future.
Busch, the 2004 Cup Series champion, was equally excited to build on a successful 2019.
“It means the world for this to come together,” Busch said Saturday. “There are still special moments ahead. There’s plenty of gas still in this tank.”
Busch has 31 career Cup Series victories. He is currently 13th in the championship standings following his playoffs elimination in the Round of 16. He has six top-fives and 17 top-10s this season.
Busch has flown the Monster Energy colors since his SHR tenure and both parties have found the relationship to be complementary.
“We’re racing people at Monster Energy and we knew immediately that we had found fantastic racing partners in Chip Ganassi, Kurt Busch and all involved at Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Mitch Covington, vice president of sports marketing for Monster Energy, in a statement. “NASCAR is a major part of who we are at Monster Energy and to be able to compete at a championship level with Kurt Busch and Chip Ganassi Racing truly reflects who we are and fires-up our desire to not only win races, but to make a serious all-in run at the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title.”
Busch replaced the retiring Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 and immediately elevated the program led by crew chief Matt McCall.
“We’ve all been in these situations where you bring one person in and it changes the entire complexion of the team and that’s exactly what happened here,” Ganassi said at Texas. “We brought one person in and it changes the complete complexion. … It was (Busch). It’s hard for a team owner in sports to tell you how hard teams work to get to this position. People in sports will tell you that you’re always looking for that right combination, that right mix of people.
“All of us in management were just kind of standing around early in the season going, ‘Man I can’t believe this guy. We sign him one day and the next day at 8 o’clock in the morning doing pit stop practice.’ … That’s the kind of spark the guy brings to the team. He’s in there working hard at it. A lot of what you get with Kurt Busch is not advertised within the media and it’s a lot of things that team owners like and crew guys like.”