Kurt Busch is the new driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the race team revealed Tuesday. He replaces Jamie McMurray, a longtime driver for the outfit.
“I am tremendously proud to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing and the prestigious group of alumni,” Busch said in a press release from CGR. “Along with Monster Energy, winning races, and competing at the highest level, it’s what we are all about. Ganassi’s forward thinking approach is why I have decided to commit all my years of Monster Energy Cup experience to CGR. Let’s win; let’s have fun.”
Busch’s longtime sponsor Monster Energy made the move to Chip Ganassi Racing with him.
Kurt Busch leaves Stewart-Haas
Kurt Busch drove the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing car for five years with backing from Monster Energy.
McMurray has been offered a leadership role at CGR in addition to an opportunity to drive a car in the 2019 season-opening Daytona 500. He hasn’t announced his specific plans for next season but has hinted at no longer racing full-time in NASCAR’s top series.
“I had opportunities to drive [for other teams]; they just weren’t opportunities I wanted,” McMurray said during the last race weekend of the 2018 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. “I was fighting for one of the [open] rides. There was a point that, honestly, I looked at it, and I was like, ‘I don’t know that I want them to call me back.’ I was fighting, because I thought it was the right thing to do, but I wanted to drive [for Ganassi]. I like this team, and I have so much history. I didn’t want to bounce somewhere else for a year and be unhappy.”
Busch officially announced via Twitter on Sunday evening that he would be leaving Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has driven the No. 41 Ford since 2014.
Chip Ganassi Racing tweeted a video Tuesday, promoting Busch’s arrival.
The 2019 season will be Busch’s 20th in the NASCAR Cup Series. After running seven races in 2000, he went full-time in the series a year later. He has 30-career wins in 648 races, driving for teams including Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Phoenix Racing, Furniture Row Racing, and SHR. He was the 2004 premier series champion, the second-straight Cup Series title for team owner Jack Roush.
In his five years with Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch won six races, including one in 2018 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
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