Kurt Busch’s season of diverse competition will continue after the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship draws to a close on Nov. 16.
The 2004 NASCAR champion made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut at the Indy 500 in May where he earned Rookie of the Year honors driving for Andretti Autosport, and after he’s done contesting his 36th Sprint Cup event for Stewart-Haas Racing later this month, the Las Vegas native will begin preparations for NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill enduro in Northern California.
Busch will drive for Road Shagger Racing during the Dec. 6-7 event in one of the mid-tier touring car classes, sharing the car with Gavin Ernstone, Jon Morley, and Robbie Montinola, and adds to the 25 Hour’s long list of interesting participants.
Major League Baseball pitcher C.J. Wilson is a regular at the event, the late actor/racer Paul Walker competed in the 25 Hour, and various professional racing teams and racing drivers make the annual trek to Thunderhill each December for the Pro-Am contest.
“I can’t wait to experience the club racing atmosphere of NASA and Thunderhill,” Busch told RACER. “I am racing with a longtime friend Gavin Ernstone, who is our captain/owner. Endurance racing has its own attitude, and this will be my third 24-hour race. Two 24 Hours of Daytona, and now the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. This will be my first time in a race car that isn’t the fastest class. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and camaraderie with friends.”
The 36-year-old has a penchant for driving almost anything. Along with his Chevy Sprint Cup machine and the Dallara DW12 Indy car he piloted, Busch has raced a Pro Stock car in the NHRA and has tested a V8 Supercar in recent years.
Busch and his teammates recently tested at the 3.0-mile, 15-turn road course, and all went well according to Montinola.
“We tested yesterday, Kurt’s times were right there with ours, and he was really good in Turn 1 (a high-speed left-hand corner),” the former Pro Mazda standout said with a laugh.
“We were looking at the data trying to figure out why he aced Turn 1 so quickly, then we realized he drives those kids of corners every weekend in his normal ride…”
Due to the NASCAR banquet being held at the same time as practice and qualifying for the 25 Hour, Busch will race the car for the first time once the green flag waves on Saturday, Dec. 6.
Once he’s done race at Thunderhill, Busch will head to Barbados where he’ll compete in the Race of Champions.