Better late than never.
Kurt Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing have agreed to a one-year deal to have the 2017 Daytona 500 winner continue driving the No. 41 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next season, Motorsport.com has learned.
An official announcement of the agreement is expected as early as Tuesday, sources said.
Busch, 39, was recruited by team co-owner Gene Haas in 2014 to drive for a new team he was starting. Since joining SHR, he has won each season – including the 2017 Daytona 500 – and qualified for the NASCAR playoffs.
The 2004 Cup Series champion finished 14th in the series standings this season.
In 17 seasons Cup seasons, the Las Vegas native has amassed 29 wins, 22 poles, 131 top-five and 258 top-10 finishes.
Busch’s crew chief for 2018 has yet to be determined. Although he's enjoyed success with veteran Tony Gibson over the last three years, Gibson had expressed his desire to get off the road after the 2017 season.
On Aug. 1, SHR informed Busch it would not pick up the option on his then-current contract but still expressed an interest in having him return to the organization.
Haas has maintained his desire throughout the year to continue to field four Cup series cars.
“I think, financially, running four teams makes sense, because with this new charter system we’re paid money to run the cars not only from NASCAR (purses) but with our relationship with Ford,” he said.
Aric Almirola has replaced Danica Patrick in the organization’s No. 10 Ford beginning in 2018, while Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will continue in the Nos. 4 and 14 Fords, respectively.