Just a day after stating he would be leaving Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series season, Kurt Busch and sponsor Monster Energy have quickly landed on their feet. On Tuesday, he announced he would be joining Chip Ganassi Racing‘s #1 car for 2019. The news was originally reported by the Associated Press before being confirmed by Busch on Instagram.
“There’s a new number 1 in town, and I’m taking her to Daytona (International Speedway),” he stated in the post.
According to the AP report, it is a one-year deal as it is believed Busch is entering his final full season of NASCAR competition, though Busch did not discuss his future beyond 2019.
With the move, Busch will be partnered at CGR with Kyle Larson, while he returns to a Chevrolet; SHR was originally a Chevy team before switching to Ford in 2017. Incidentally, this will be his second stint in a #1 Chevrolet as he ran seven Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) races in such a vehicle for Phoenix Racing in 2012 and 2013.
Busch left SHR after five years in the team’s #41 car, where he recorded six wins and ninety top-ten finishes. While his successor has not been announced, Daniel Suárez is the favourite to take over the #41 in 2019.
In joining the #1, he replaces Jamie McMurray, who is expected to remain with the organisation as a team manager. McMurray is also rumoured to be running the exhibition Advance Auto Parts Clash and season-opening Daytona 500 in a third Ganassi car.
The 2004 Cup champion and 2017 Daytona 500 winner, Busch finished seventh in points in 2018 with a win, 22 top tens, and five poles.