Six months after winning NASCAR’s biggest race, Kurt Busch is now a victim of the wildest Silly Season in recent memory.
Stewart-Haas Racing has informed Busch the organization will not pick up the option on the 2017 Daytona 500 winner and 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion for next season.
Stewart-Haas has until midnight on Tuesday (when the company’s option expires) to reverse its decision, but the expectation is that Busch will not drive the No. 41 Ford for SHR in 2018.
Busch, 38, has 29 Cup series wins, 21 poles, 127 top fives and 252 top 10s in 597 starts. He won his title the first year under NASCAR’s Chase format and has qualified for the playoffs 10 of the last 14 seasons.
The Las Vegas native came up through the Southwest Series tour before he was recruited by Jack Roush in 2000 to compete in the Camping World Truck Series. Busch won four races and finished second in the truck tour before moving to NASCAR’s premiere series in 2001.
Busch moved to Team Penske in 2006. He was recruited by Gene Haas to drive for the No. 41 Haas Automation team in 2014. Busch has earned four wins, five poles 21 top fives and 51 top 10s in the last three seasons with Stewart-Haas Racing.