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Surprised by contract situation, Kurt Busch ‘optimistic’ about future

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Kurt Busch said Saturday he was optimistic about his future in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series despite his current team, Stewart-Haas Racing, not picking up an option on his contract for 2018 earlier this week.

The 2004 Cup champion sounded optimistic that things would fall in place. He said Saturday he had already received offers to consider, even if he’s not ready yet to formalize anything.

“I don’t think there’s much to worry about,” Busch told NASCAR.com after surveying some damage to the right front of his No. 41 Ford following opening practice at the Watkins Glen International road course. “The way the option came up, they didn’t choose it, so it actually gives me a lot of options. I’m optimistic about how the communications will go with all the situations. …with Ford, with Monster and with other teams.”

Busch did concede he was somewhat surprised to find himself in this situation only six months after hoisting the sport’s biggest trophy — but remains resolute he will find a good place to work next year.

His resume boasts 29 Monster Energy Series race wins – including the Daytona 500 in February. He’s had three top-five championship finishes including his title and has qualified for the playoffs seven of the last eight years (and his Daytona 500 win has him in position to extend that to eight of out nine seasons).

“I just feel like everything will fall into place so there’s really not much to worry about,” Busch said, adding, “It’s a unique situation for our sport, though, to have a Daytona 500 champion — who delivers eight figures in sponsorship money — in a free agency situation.”