Kurt Busch: ‘Excited’ to return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018

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Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch will return to the Stewart-Haas Racing stable in 2018, filling one of the final few remaining pieces of NASCAR’s “Silly Season.”

Busch, in a statement provided to motorsport.com and kickinthetires.net, said:

“Having my hard work pay off by winning the … 2017 Daytona 500 has given me the drive to continue conquering the NASCAR world. I am excited to enter the 2018 racing season as a Monster Energy athlete where I will continue to drive my favorite manufacturer, the Ford Motor Company.

“Knowing that SHR is committed to optimum performance, I believe that I have everything I need to win races this season and take home the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. I look forward to taking on next year with my team, sponsors and determination.”

Busch, 39, the 2004 premier series champion and a 29-time winner in the series, has driven for SHR since 2014 and this year carried Monster Energy as a primary sponsor on the team’s No. 41 Ford. His tenure at the team includes five wins, highlighted by February’s victory in NASCAR’s crown jewel at Daytona.

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Reports of Busch’s uncertain future first broke Aug. 1 with various outlets citing unnamed sources that the team did not pick up Busch’s 2018 contract option. SHR and the veteran driver, though, both insisted over the past four months that fans should expect the driver-team pairing to continue in 2018.

“I think my best chance to win races, to win championships is to be with Stewart-Haas Racing,” Busch told NASCAR.com during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas. “I’m not too worried about it.”

Busch’s return finalizes Stewart-Haas Racing’s four-car lineup in 2018. Clint Bowyer (No. 14) and Kevin Harvick (No. 4) both return, and Aric Almirola will drive the No. 10 Ford in 2018.

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