By AMANDA VINCENT
Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kurt Busch and team co-owner Tony Stewart held a press conference at the SHR shop in Kannapolis, N.C., on Wednesday to announce that Busch has agreed to a multi-year extensioin of his contract to continue driving the No. 41 Chevrolet Stewart-Haas entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and to introduce Monster Energy as a co-primary sponsor of Busch and the No. 41 in 2016.
“I’m very happy to be back with Stewart-Haas Racing and proud to take Monster Energy to the Sprint Cup Series,” Busch said. “This is exactly where I want to be and I have two partners who want to win as much as I do.”
Busch has had a professional relationship with Monster Energy since 2012 since he shared driving duties with his brother Kyle Busch of a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry in the NASCAR Nationwide (now-Xfinity) Series in 2012.
“Kurt Busch has been a member of the Monster Energy team since 2012 and we’re very happy to take his involvement with us to a whole new level,” Monster Energy Vice President of Sports Marketing Mitch Covington said. “The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the premier form of stock-car racing in North America and it’s exactly where we want to be. Kurt and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing are racers. They walk the walk, just like Monster Energy.”
Monster actually will debut as sponsor on the No. 41 in 2015, serving as primary sponsor of Busch in the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Monster will share primary sponsorship with Haas Automation, owned by SHR co-owner Gene Haas, in 2016 for 35 of the 36 points-paying races in 2016, with Monster appearing on the hood of the No. 41 for 17 races and on the quarter panel for 18 races.
Next season will be Busch’s third season as driver of the No. 41 at Stewart-Haas Racing. In the nearly two years, so far, with the organization, he’s posted three wins, two of those coming this season. Busch has made the Chase for the Sprint Cup in both of his years with SHR. Heading into Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Busch is third in championship points standings, 18 points out of the lead and 13 points ahead of Kyle Busch in nith, the first provisional elimination spot. The Chase field will be cut from 12 drivers to eight after Talladega.
“I’ve always respected Kurt’s talent and determination, and I’m glad it’s staying at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Stewart said. “Kurt can win at every racetrack we visit, and his feedback and attention to detail make our entire organization better.”
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