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Kurt Busch hopes to ‘have an announcement soon’ on where he’ll race

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Kurt Busch has yet to announce where he’ll race next season and said he had hoped to do so this week but not everything came together.

“No announcement,” Busch said Wednesday after the Myers Brothers Awards in Las Vegas. “I was hoping to have things for this week because this is an important week … for our industry to be gathered together and it’s my hometown but just nothing came together in the right way yet. So, hopefully we’ll have an announcement soon.”

Asked if expects to be in a car in 2019, Busch said: “I expect to be in a car, but yet there are other ambitions I have, there are other people in my life that are very important, such as my wife Ashley, and things we want to do together as a family, but we’ll see how things play out.”

Asked how soon it could be before an announcement, Busch said: “There’s a few people in the works still that haven’t committed and we’ve got to get those things lined up. It is late, but I still feel confident on where things will go.”

Asked about what he’s looking forward to in 2019, Busch said: “Just the opportunity to have a competitive team, to try to race for big wins. I haven’t had a chance to win at Darlington over the years even though it’s been close a few times. Indianapolis, I want to try to win there. To be in that garage area, it’s a fun world to live in, it’s been my life for 20 years, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Busch, 40, signed a one-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing last December, leaving him a free agent after this season. Reports have him as the favorite to take over the No. 1 car at Chip Ganassi Racing with Monster Energy following him as a sponsor for some races.

Busch finished seventh in the points this season – the third time in the last four years the 2004 champ has finished in the top 10 in points. He won the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 30th career Cup win. He also had five poles, the most in his career since he had six in 2006 when he was at Team Penske.

“What makes it that much better this year for us is that we did it on all variety of tracks,” Busch said in Las Vegas of the five poles this year. “To set a track record at Texas that I think will stand for a long time, Michigan another fast track and then we got to the pole at the Roval, that was very special to me. Talladega was great, that showed all the teamwork at SHR, and Loudon was a nice pole on a short track in the middle of July.”

 

 

NASCAR America: Daytona 500 ‘Turning Point’ came on Stage 2 pit stop

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The moment that set up Denny Hamlin‘s Daytona 500 win on Sunday came on Lap 108, according to NASCAR America’s Steve Letarte.

That’s when Hamlin made a pit stop near the end of Stage 2.

“(Crew chief Chris) Gabehart calls his car to pit road,” Letarte said. “He doesn’t care about stage points. He cares about four fresh tires on a hot, slick Daytona track.”

Then on Lap 122, during the stage break pit stop, Gabehart decided to put only fuel in the No. 11 Toyota when he was 21st.

“On Lap 163 he got 6 seconds of gas, that’s it, no tires,” Letarte said. “That gave him track position (eighth) in front of all of those accidents. The turning points to this race was before Stage 2 even ended.”

Watch the above video for more.

Garrett Smithley in Spire Motorsports car at Atlanta as entry lists released

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Garrett Smithley is listed as the driver of Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet for Sunday’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Smithley, a native of Peachtree City, Georgia, competes in the Xfinity Series with JD Motorsports and made three Cup starts last year.

Spire purchased Furniture Row Racing’s charter after the team closed at the end of last season. It fielded Jamie McMurray in the Daytona 500 in the No. 40 in a partnership of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Quin Houff also will compete for Spire this season.

Click here for the preliminary Cup entry list.

Click here for the preliminary Xfinity entry list.

Click here for the preliminary Truck Series entry list.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Daytona 500 recap

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and recaps all the action from Sunday’s Daytona 500.

Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett will discuss all the major storylines from the race that saw Denny Hamlin claim his second 500 win.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

‘Bizarre’ Daytona 500 marks Jamie McMurray’s likely final Cup start

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If Sunday’s Daytona 500 turns out to be Jamie McMurray‘s 583rd and final Cup start, then the race threw all it could at him as a going away present.

McMurray finished 22nd in what the Chip Ganassi Racing driver called a “bizarre” Daytona 500.

The 43-year-old driver had to start his 17th “Great American Race” at the rear due to a rear gear change. By Lap 19 in he was in 19th.

His day was complicated on Lap 50 when he was caught up in a six-car wreck, which damaged his right front fender. With repairs made to his No. 40 Chevrolet, the 2010 Daytona 500 winner continued.

Even with the damage, McMurray managed to navigate his way up to 10th by Lap 84.

He then led the field from Laps 164-169, with just the last two laps under green.

Then chaos reigned.

The final 20 laps saw three multi-car wrecks, but McMurray managed to avoid the ones that caught 21 and seven cars.

“Certainly, a bizarre 500 to have so much green-flag racing and then so many wrecks at the end,” McMurray said. “It’s incredible to me how many times we were able to crash in the last 10 laps. It’s part of it. You were able to get big runs. It seemed like as the sun went down those runs happened more often. When the Daytona 500 is on the line, people are willing to take big risks. They just all waited to the end.”

But McMurray couldn’t avoid the last major wreck. While running eighth he was ensnared in a nine-car melee that resulted in the overtime finish. 

“I’m thrilled I made it as long as I did,” said McMurray. “I made it through two or three wrecks I should have been in and didn’t get torn up. It is just part of it. It is what it is and I’m just thankful I’m safe. This is just one of those places you come to that there are a lot of unknowns and certainly after flipping at Talladega (last April), speedway racing was a little different in my mind.”

McMurray will now transition to an analyst role for Fox Sports.

Should the native of Joplin, Missouri, never make another Cup start, he ends his career with seven wins, 63 top fives and 168 top 10s.

He exits the NASCAR stage after 581 consecutive Cup starts.

Next week’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the first without McMurray since the Oct. 20, 2002 event at Martinsville Speedway. That was the race after McMurray scored a surprise first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway driving Ganassi’s No. 40 Dodge in substitution of an injured Sterling Marlin.

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