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NASCAR Cup: reports have Kurt Busch at Chip Ganassi Racing next year

LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 31: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford looks over his vehicle in the garage during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series testing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 31, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Several published reports during the Michigan International Speedway NASCAR weekend that culminated in Sunday’s running of the Consumers Energy 400 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the first by Motorsport.com, reported that Kurt Busch would likely leave Stewart-Haas Racing at season’s end to replace Jamie McMurray as driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in 2019. Reports also mentioned Busch taking sponsor Monster Energy with him.

“Stewart-Haas Racing does not comment on the status of its contracts, be it driver or partner related. We appreciate your understanding,” a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing read.

Last month, though, Sports Business Daily reported that SHR hoped to keep Busch and its other three Cup Series drivers, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Aric Almirola, with the team in 2019.

The current contract that puts Busch behind the wheel of the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, is a one-year contract. His previous contract that expired at the end of the 2017 season had an option for an extension, but SHR opted to not pick up that option, instead negotiating a new, one-year contract for 2018.

“I really don’t have comment, because I haven’t seen anything one way or the other,” Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas said.

When asked at Michigan about the reports of his possible move from SHR to CGR, Busch said he was talking to multiple teams about next season but has not signed anything. He told NBC Sports that “whatever has been reported is all hearsay.”

McMurray, meanwhile, is remaining closed-lipped.

Busch, the 2004 Cup Series champion, has been with Stewart-Haas since 2014. Five of his 29-career wins have come with SHR, with the rest coming with Roush Fenway Racing and Team Penske. He also drove for teams including the now-defunct Phoenix Racing and Furniture Row Racing before arriving at SHR. His last win came in the 2017 season-opening Daytona 500. Twenty-three races into the 2018 season, Busch is fourth in the points standings.

Stewart-Haas Racing is a nine-time winner in 2018, with seven wins by Harvick and two from Bowyer.

McMurray’s latest stint with team owner Chip Ganassi began in 2010. He also began his Cup Series career with Ganassi, running part-time in 2002 and full-time for Ganassi from 2003 to 2005. Between those two periods, he drove for Roush Fenway Racing. Five of his seven-career wins, so far, have come with Ganassi. With three races remaining in the 2018 regular season, McMurray is 22nd in the standings. His last win came at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2013.

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Posted by on August 14, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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