Short term or long term, Kurt Busch is in for the long haul. Whether it’s the upcoming NASCAR Cup playoffs or continuing to drive for several more years, he’s planning on going at things at full speed.
At the end of this season, Busch will be a free agent driver, as his contract at Stewart-Haas Racing has not been renewed. However, there are some mixed messages there as shortly after Busch made the revelation over a month ago, SHR tweeted that it wanted Busch to return.
So far, nothing has been confirmed, so Busch is approaching things as if he’ll be a free agent — unless things change.
The biggest thing for the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion right now is to start the playoffs on a strong note. The winner of this year’s Daytona 500 struggled for much of the first 26 races, but he, crew chief Tony Gibson and the rest of the No. 41 team seem to have hit upon something in the last several races.
Busch has shown vast improvement of late, particularly the last five races, where he’s finished — in order — eighth (Watkins Glen), 11th (Michigan), fifth (Bristol), third (Darlington) and fourth (Richmond).
“We started off with a huge bang, we won Daytona,” Busch said. “Since the engine change at Indianapolis, It’s like we have all the pieces now and know where we need to plug them in and where to go.”
Busch and his team have the potential — and momentum heading into the playoffs — to become perhaps the biggest and best sleeper candidate to go all the way to the final round of the championship.
And then there’s the 39-year-old’s long term viability to not only remain relevant and successful in NASCAR Cup — either with SHR or another team — for several more years. While other drivers are calling it quits, Busch says he still has much to do and achieve.
“As long as I’m with a competitive car to win races,” Busch said when asked how many more years he may still race. “To me, my heart’s in it, my body still feels young. I love the travel and have learned more about the history of our sport and places we go and race and the reasoning we race on certain tracks.
“… The contract thing, we’ll see how it all plays out. Being a free agent, it’s an interesting market now for drivers.”
Check out more about Busch’s thoughts about his tenure remaining in the following video.