Kurt Busch’s passionate attitude will be an ideal fit when he joins Stewart-Haas for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup, reckons team co-owner Gene Haas.
Busch has rebuilt his career at midfield teams Phoenix and Furniture Row over the past two seasons after losing his Penske seat in late 2011 following a string of controversies.
He will now move to Stewart-Haas as it expands to a four-car line-up with newcomers Busch and Kevin Harvick alongside co-owner Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick.
Haas, whose own Haas Automation firm will be Busch’s main sponsor, said he had absolutely no doubt that the 2004 champion was the right man for his team.
“He’s done an amazing job with a single-car team, that has a lot of competitors that are way ahead of it,” said Haas.
“I know Kurt’s resume as well as anybody. I kind of like his attitude. He’s passionate about what he does. He likes to win. He’s not afraid to get in people’s faces. He’s a passionate person, and it takes a lot of passion to win these races.
“The fact that he runs into his friends at 200 miles an hour once in a while, has a few tough words… they all do that, so I don’t really have any problems with that either.”
STEWART HAD RESERVATIONS OVER EXPANSION
Haas admitted that his partner Stewart – currently sidelined with a broken leg – had reservations about expanding to a fourth car as early as 2014, and that he pushed ahead unilaterally.
“I didn’t have really a chance to talk to Tony about it at all since he wasn’t really talking to anybody. So I kind of did this on my own, probably overstepped my authority a bit there,” said Haas.
“I did realise that Tony might be a little bit upset about it. He was, he was a little upset.
“At first he said, ‘oh, wow, we can’t really do this because this is going to be too much of a load on the team. We’re not prepared for it’.
“He actually is an astute businessman. He thought about all these little things, where are we going to get the people, the money, where are the buildings going to come from. I didn’t think about any of that. I just thought it would be kind of neat to have.
“I think he actually said ‘you need to wait a while’. I kind of made an offer to Kurt, I don’t know if he’s going to take it or not, and if he takes it, I’m not backing down.”