Kurt Busch to drive for Phoenix Racing

Kurt Busch will drive in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012 after all, as he signed on with Phoenix Racing on Thursday.

Busch will drive the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet Impala next year, doing so for car owner James Finch.

"Now with Kurt Busch as our driver, we have a shot to win every week," Finch said. "He's a past champion and he's proven he can win everywhere. Our sponsors are looking forward to Kurt representing their brands."

Busch is also looking forward to the switch.

"I'm very happy to join Phoenix Racing and after entertaining a lot of quality offers, there's no better place for me," said Busch. "Christmas came early for me this year, and I honestly can't wait for the season to begin."

Earlier this month, Penske Racing released Busch from his driving duties with the No.22 team in the Sprint Cup Series, one week after NASCAR penalized him for his outburst at Homestead-Miami Speedway

During the November 20 season-ending race at Homestead, Busch experienced transmission issues and headed to the garage for repairs in the early going. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion was videotaped making an inappropriate hand gesture and using foul language while waiting to be interviewed by ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch in the garage area. NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 for his actions.

Busch drove for Penske from 2006-11, scoring 10 race wins with the organization, including two this year (Sonoma and Dover fall event). He also notched 12 poles during his six-year span there. Busch made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship four times with Penske.

He finished this season 11th in the Chase point standings, one spot ahead of his younger brother, Kyle.

Prior to his ride with Penske, Busch drove for Roush Fenway Racing in Sprint Cup from 2000-05. He missed the last two races of the '05 season after team owner Jack Roush suspended him for an alcohol-related incident days before the Phoenix race.