CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kurt Busch’s immediate sights are set on defending his 2017 Daytona 500 crown. But in the long term, the No. 41 driver also has an eye on other projects, from sports cars to broadcasting.
“I feel like I have a lot more to do in racing, whether it’s the NASCAR level or anything else, sports cars,” Busch said at Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour on Tuesday. “Done some drag racing, done some Indy Cars. But to me, I’m just trying to learn more about the whole product that happens with racing and that is to work with guys like FOX or NBC. … Just trying to continue to move forward and to learn all that I can.”
He’s getting a head start this offseason, too; the Stewart-Haas Racing driver will serve as a guest commentator at a Supercross event next week, as well as help ESPN with coverage of the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, which run from Jan. 25-28.
Busch signed a one-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing on Dec. 12, 2017, after spending more than four months as a free agent when SHR didn’t pick up his contract option in August.
Nonetheless, Busch assures that his interest in other ventures doesn’t mean that he’s hanging up his NASCAR fire suit after this season. He says he likes “to have options.”
“There are still so many balls in the air but you have to be smart in this day and age,” Busch said. “You can’t just have one plan because things change pretty quickly.”
Busch wouldn’t be the first driver to transition from racing to broadcasting if he were to choose that path; Dale Earnhardt Jr. will spend his first year in racing retirement covering NASCAR, as well as the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics for NBC. Jeff Gordon is a regular member of the FOX booth, a move he made following his retirement at the end of the 2015 season. Other drivers such as Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer have participated in race coverage for Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series events.