Kurt Busch confident he will be back with SHR in 2018

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LAS VEGAS — Kurt Busch remains confident and optimistic that a new contract with Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2018 season will be forthcoming, the driver said during Champion’s Week.

“It’s all a work in progress,” Busch said. “Monster has stood by my side and Ford has been supportive. I like the way the two sides are coming together. My focus has been more about the people and personnel and how we’re going to make this work to be more successful next year. Winning Daytona was great, but we want more.”

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Busch provided one of the 2017 season’s highlights with his win in the Daytona 500, his first in “The Great American Race.” But in August, reports surfaced that Stewart-Haas Racing would not pick up the option on his contract for 2018. The team also tweeted that they expected Busch to return in 2018, and the driver has said the same.

“I think my best chance to win races, to win championships is to be with Stewart-Haas Racing,” Busch said. “Talked with other owners and the offers were about the same from other teams, but the offers weren’t the same as far as level of car. And to work with Doug Yates and Ford and all the individuals that I’ve grown around and felt comfortable with at SHR, that’s not available at other teams.

“We’ll see how it all plays out, I’m not too worried about it.”

Busch has 29 wins in the Monster Energy Series and was the 2004 series champion. The No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford qualified for the Playoffs in 2017 and finished 14th in the standings.