Kurt Busch confirmed through his social media channels Sunday night he is not returning to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2019. The team and its co-owner Tony Stewart subsequently offered salutes to Busch the same way (see below).
“I would like to thank Stewart-Haas for 5 fantastic years driving the #41,” wrote Busch. “I will miss everyone, especially the crew chiefs I worked with, Daniel Knost, Tony Gibson & Billy Scott, I love you guys. The stats add up… 6 wins, 11 poles, 37 top 5’s, 90 top 10’s & more than 1,900 laps led. Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards for me to stay. I’m looking forward to the future & new opportunities ahead!”
Since the summer, Busch has been rumored to be heading to Chip Ganassi Racing to replace Jamie McMurray.
Last week during NASCAR’s Champion’s Week banquet, Busch said he hoped to have an announcement on his future soon and he does expect to be in a car next year.
“But yet there are other ambitions I have, there are other people in my life that are very important, such as my wife Ashley, and things we want to do together as a family,” said Busch. “But we’ll see how things play out.”
Busch ended the 2018 season with one win, the summer Bristol race, five poles, and 22 top-10 finishes. In the championship standings, Busch made the playoffs but was eliminated before the championship round and finished seventh in the standings.
The 2019 season would be Busch’s 19th full season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.