After months of speculation, Kurt Busch has confirmed he will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
“I would like to thank Stewart-Haas for 5 fantastic years driving the #41,” he stated in a tweet posted Sunday. “I will miss everyone, especially the crew chiefs I worked with, Daniel Knost, Tony Gibson & Billy Scott, 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!”
Busch joined SHR’s #41 car in 2014 after spending 2013 with Furniture Row Racing. In 2018, he recorded a win at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, six top fives, twenty-two top tens, five poles, and a sixth-place points finish.
Despite a five-year tenure that saw him win at least one race each season, rumours began to surface that he would leave the team once his contract expired following 2018. Daniel Suárez, whose #19 ride with Joe Gibbs Racing will be filled by Martin Truex Jr. in 2019, has engaged in contract talks with SHR to take over the #41.
“Amazing how fast five years goes by… especially when @KurtBusch is at the wheel,” SHR tweeted. “Your dedication and desire are hard to match. Know the next chapter of your career will be great. From all of us, thank you.”
While Busch has not announced his 2019 plans, he is expected to join Chip Ganassi Racing‘s #1 car.