Kurt Busch gains contract extension, co-primary sponsor Monster

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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Stewart-Haas Racing announced a multiyear extension Wednesday with Kurt Busch and also added sponsorship from Monster Energy to his No. 41 Chevrolet.

Monster will make its debut on Busch’s car next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. The energy drink company will be on the hood of Busch’s car in 2016 for 17 races (labeled an “alpha” sponsorship) and 18 other races on the quarter panel (the “bravo” sponsorship). The company will have a full primary sponsorship for one race and is being called a “co-primary sponsor” with Haas Automation, which is owned by SHR co-owner Gene Haas.

Team co-owner Tony Stewart said he was enthused about having Busch return as a teammate.

“Since Kurt’s been on board, he’s probably the one guy I’ve leaned on the most,” Stewart said. “Our setups are most alike. I really lean on Kurt for information, and we’ve been able to communicate really well as far as the feel of the car.”

Monster’s relationship with Busch dates to the 2012 season when he teamed with younger brother Kyle to co-drive a full-time car in the Xfinity Series. Kurt Busch won an Xfinity race in a Monster-emblazoned car at Richmond International Raceway.

“These Busch guys can drive,” said Mitch Covington, vice president of sports marketing at Monster. “I expect nothing less than battling for wins every week.”

The Monster brand has sponsored Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 Toyota driven by Kyle Busch in the Xfinity Sereis. Covington said Monster likely would maintain a sponsorship relationship with Busch and JGR but potentially through another brand.