Charlotte, NC – Kurt Busch has reportedly signed a multi-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing to drive a fourth car for the team, starting in 2014.
ESPN.com and FoxSports.com both reported on Monday that Busch has signed a deal with SHR. Busch told FoxSports.com that "it's inked." He also revealed to ESPN.com that "I'm going to Stewart Haas. I've signed my deal."
Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion, is driving the No. 78 Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing this year. He is currently 12th in the standings, just six points behind 10th-place Joey Logano. The 35-year-old Busch has scored 24 wins, 95 top-five finishes, 185 top-10 finishes and 16 poles in 459 career Sprint Cup starts. He is hoping to make championship Chase for the seventh time. Just two races remain before the Chase begins.
SHR has scheduled a press conference on Tuesday to announce its future plans. There has been wide speculation the racing organization is adding a fourth car to its stable and Busch would drive it. He will be teammates with Tony Stewart, who co-owns the team, as well as Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick, who is leaving Richard Childress Racing to join SHR at the end of this season.
This past Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli addressed the possibility of Busch driving a fourth entry for the team next year.
"As far as Kurt's deal, that is moving forward," Zipadelli said. "We spent some time (last) week talking about buildings and expanding. As far as that part of it goes, we are pretty much committed ... If we can get it all worked out, we are going to head that way."
Furniture Row acknowledged on Monday afternoon that Busch will not continue to drive for the No. 78 team after the 2013 season.
"It was always our intention to extend Kurt's contract with Furniture Row Racing," team general manager Joe Garone said in a statement. "We made him an offer last week to continue as the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014 and beyond. Though he did not accept our offer we respect his decision and wish him future success. His driving skill and being a dedicated team player will always be appreciated at Furniture Row Racing. But for right now the main focus for Kurt and the team is to qualify for the Chase and contend for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series championship."