With a contract extension and new sponsor in hand, Kurt Busch is ready to finish off what has already been a successful season and launch headfirst into a new one.
On Wednesday at Stewart-Haas Racing’s headquarters in Kannapolis, N.C., the organization officially announced Busch’s extension and debuted the new look of Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet adorned with the Monster Energy drink logos.
It’s something to be proud of when you have all these crew members who have options and they want to come back and continue to build something with you.
Fans won’t even have to wait until next season to see the new livery – Monster will debut on the No. 41 in the Nov. 1 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville, Va.
“This is a reason to celebrate. It’s something very significant, I feel,” Busch said of Monster’s jump into the Cup series. The company has most recently sponsored Kyle Busch’s Xfinity Series team at Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I can’t thank Gene Haas and Tony Stewart enough for the opportunity to be a part of this team. We’ve accomplished a lot in our two years together, but there’s so much more I want to do for them.”
Don't fix what's not broken
Busch received an added bonus of good news before the announcement.
Busch said he spoke with Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s competition director, on Wednesday morning and Zipadelli told Busch roughly “95 percent” of his current No. 41 team would remain intact in 2016.
“That’s fantastic. Everybody wants more. Everybody is feeling it right now. Everybody that is part of this championship run want to come back for more next year,” Busch said.
“It’s something to be proud of when you have all these crew members who have options and they want to come back and continue to build something with you. It feels great to have that security.”
Busch, who won the 2004 series championship, currently is in good position to advance to Round 3 of the championship Chase entering Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Although he missed the season’s first three races due to a NASCAR suspension, upon his return he and crew chief Tony Gibson picked up right where they left off at the end of last season.
“Tony took a strong stance of ‘We’re building these cars to go win and when we get our driver back we’re going to win’ and we almost did in our second race together,” Busch said. “He built tremendous cars from the beginning and we had our game plan through the summer months and now here is our next step to get through the Chase.”
Gibson has been beset this season with some health issues, but Busch said the veteran crew chief is ready to continue the duo’s journey together.
“Tony is a great leader and he has a great game plan all the time,” Busch said.