With the “official” announcement being made Tuesday, Kurt Busch has already signed on to be the 4th driver at the Stewart-Haas Racing organization starting in 2014. The big question isn’t how well he is going to perform, but what his move means for those around him.
A few tough years and a couple of rides later, Busch finally found himself a steady ride in 2013 with Furniture Row Racing. Based out of Denver, Colorado, this one-car team is an extension of Richard Childress Racing. The No.78 Chevy has had a variety of drivers but none have taken them to the top quite like Busch has.
Busch currently finds himself in a position to qualify for the Chase, although he has yet to win this season. With six top-5s and eleven top-10s, Busch has been fairly consistent. With only a one-year contract at FRR, all eyes, and offers, were towards Busch to see where he would end up in 2014.
Reports of offers from RCR and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing started surfacing just weeks ago. Even FRR said they wanted to extend their deal with Busch but no one expected an offer to come from SHR.
SHR, originally a two-car team, added a third full-time car in 2013 when Rookie Danica Patrick joined the ranks of the organization. As announced in 2012, Kevin Harvick would be making the switch to SHR in 2014. With a still-green driver (no pun intended) and a new teammate, growing to a four-car team was not in the cards for SHR. Or so we thought.
When the rumors started surfacing last week that an offer had been made, the racing world seemed to be taken by surprise. If SHR could expand to a four-car team then why couldn’t Ryan Newman stay? Unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever know the answer to that question.
Busch moving to SHR isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I think it is a brilliant idea. Having drivers like Busch, Harvick, Patrick and Tony Stewart on the same team could move SHR into the ranks Hendrick Motorsports, another four-car powerhouse. SHR also has a direct partnership with HMS, receiving engines and chassis from their race shop.
So think about it this way if you would, SHR and HMS work closely together when you think about parts and engines. So, in theory, you have one eight-car team comprised of the four drivers from SHR and the four drivers from HMS: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With 13 Sprint Cup Series Championships between the two teams, SHR and HMS are going to be unstoppable in the coming years. Plus, each team has a very popular and well-liked driver on their team, who also bring in sponsorship dollars; Patrick and Earnhardt Jr.
The way I see it, Kurt Busch moving to Stewart-Haas Racing is nothing but a good thing. 2014 probably won’t be easy for the organization seeing as they struggled at the beginning of 2013 after adding a third team and the new Gen-6 car. Once they get everything sorted out, everyone else better watch their backs.
With Smoke, Happy, The Outlaw and the Danistar in the same race shop and sharing information, the NASCAR world better be ready, 2014 is going to be one great season. And to those in the garage, don’t be surprised of the pranks become more frequent .
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After it was rumored that Stewart-Haas Racing offered Kurt Busch ride for 2014 just a few weeks ago, Busch and SHR make it official.
According to Fox Sports, Busch and SHR have signed a 2-year deal to have Busch drive for the organization starting in 2014.
“This is the situation that every driver wants to be in,” Busch told Fox Sports. “To have an owner like Gene Haas calling and asking you to come and race how you know how to race and that is to win. Gene is giving me that opportunity.”
Busch, the 2004 Series Champion, has 24 Cup Series wins and is currently in a position to make a Chase appearance in 2013.
Stewart-Haas Racing expanded to a three-car team in 2012 when Danica Patrick drove the No.10 Chevy for 10 races in preparation for a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride with the organization in 2013.
Keeping Patrick and co-owner Tony Stewart in 2014, Stewart-Haas Racing also adds current Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick to the line up next season as well.
In 2014, the SHR lineup is as follows: Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. With four large personalities in one organization, 2014 is bound to be an interesting season.
The official announcement will be made during a press conference on Tuesday, August 27th. Stay with BTF for the latest details.
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Shortly after the checkered flag waved at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, reports started swirling that took the racing community by surprise. According to reports, Stewart-Haas Racing has made Kurt Busch a formal offer to drive for them in 2014.
Now, if you were like me when you first heard of the news, you are probably thinking well, what about Newman? I thought they didn’t have sponsorship for a 4th car? According to reports, Haas Automation Inc. would be the primary sponsor for the 4th SHR car that Busch would pilot.
Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series Champion, currently sits ninth in points after his top-5 finish at Michigan. Currently on a one year contract with Furniture Row Racing, Busch’s plans for 2014 are still up in the air leaving many to wonder where he will end up. Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing were two big possibilities that had been mentioned if Busch decided not to continue with Furniture Row Racing but SHR comes as a big surprise.
Stewart-Haas Racing released a statement last night but was vague on whether or not the reports of the offer were true.
“Stewart-Haas Racing constantly strives to improve itself, and expansion is something that is often discussed. If the right opportunity presents itself, it’s something the team will certainly consider.”
Busch, when asked Friday if any plans had been made for 2014, said the focus on 2013 was most important.
“It’s cool to have talks with Furniture Row about what we can do in 2014 and beyond. The (Earnhardt) Ganassi thing came up and other phone calls have happened. Nothing’s going to change. We’re just still really focused on the Chase and what we can do in these next four weeks together.”
So whether or not the reports of the formal offer are true, the teams and organizations surrounding this report are keeping it under wraps. Buckle up ladies and gentleman, Silly Season is officially underway.
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