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Kurt Busch signs multi-year deal to remain at Chip Ganassi Racing

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Kurt Busch and sponsor Monster Energy will remain at Chip Ganassi Racing. The team announced that Busch and Monster Energy have each signed multi-year deals with CGR. 

Busch left Stewart-Haas Racing after last season and signed with Chip Ganassi Racing for this season, inking a one-year contact.

“I think he and Kyle (Larson) have had a great time being teammates,” car owner Chip Ganassi said Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. “I think it has made Kyle a better driver having Kurt as a teammate. He brings a lot off the track. He brought a lot of guys on that 1 team their first Cup win. I’m very proud to keep him a part of this team for the foreseeable future.

“It means the world for this to come together,” Busch said Saturday. “There are still special moments ahead. There’s plenty of gas still in this tank.”

Busch, the 2004 Cup champion, made the playoffs with his win at Kentucky in July. It was his 31st career Cup victory. He enters Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) 13th in the points. He has six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes this season. 

“We’re racing people at Monster Energy and we knew immediately that we had found fantastic racing partners in Chip Ganassi, Kurt Busch and all involved at Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Mitch Covington, vice president of sports marketing for Monster Energy, in a statement. “NASCAR is a major part of who we are at Monster Energy and to be able to compete at a championship level with Kurt Busch and Chip Ganassi Racing truly reflects who we are and fires-up our desire to not only win races, but to make a serious all-in run at the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title.”

Ganassi lauded Busch’s connection to the No. 1 crew.

“We’ve all been in these situations where you bring one person in and it changes the entire complexion of the team and that’s exactly what happened here,” Ganassi said. “We brought one person in and it changes the complete complexion. … It was (Busch). It’s hard for a team owner in sports to tell you how hard teams work to get to this position. People in sports will tell you that you’re always looking for that right combination, that right mix of people.

“All of us in management were just kind of standing around early in the season going, ‘Man I can’t believe this guy. We sign him one day and the next day at 8 o’clock in the morning doing pit stop practice.’ … That’s the kind of spark the guy brings to the team. He’s in there working hard at it. A lot of what you get with Kurt Busch is not advertised within the media and it’s a lot of things that team owners like and crew guys like.”

Martins Motorsports adds sponsorship to No. 44 Xfinity car

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Martins Motorsports announced Tuesday that it has renewed a partnership with Gilreath Farms Red Angus for the 2020 Xfinity Series.

Gilreath Farms and AAN Adjusters, which also is owned by Ken Gilreath, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 44 Xfinity car for 25 races this season. Gilreath Farms sponsored Martins for a race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2018 when Martins drove for BJ McLeod Motorsports.

“Having Gilreath Farms Red Angus on the car again is special,” Martins said in a statement. “This is really where my partnership with Ken started in 2018, so to see his commitment to us this year…I mean I’ve said it before, it completely changes our entire outlook for this season. It’s really special.”

The first race for the Red Angus Chevrolet will be at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Truck Series playoffs expands to 10 teams

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The playoffs for the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will expand from eight to 10 drivers in 2020, NASCAR announced Tuesday.

Two teams will be eliminated after the first round and four eliminated after second round.

How each round of the playoffs will unfold:

Round of 10: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Bristol Motor Speedway

Round of 8: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Martinsville Speedway

Championship 4: Phoenix Raceway

“Expanding the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series playoff field to 10 is a win-win for drivers, teams and, most importantly, the passionate fans who support our Gander Trucks,” Truck Series Managing Director Brad Moran said in a statement from NASCAR. “This will only increase the competitive intensity this series offers, as more drivers and teams vie for one of the most coveted championships in all of racing.”

Had there been 10 drivers allowed in last year’s playoffs, ThorSport Racing’s Ben Rhodes and Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Harrison Burton would have gotten those spots. KBM did not have any drivers in the playoffs.

The first two races of the playoffs, at Gateway and Canada, will feature the new pit road rules for standalone races in the Truck and Xfinity Series.

Reports: Daniel Suarez to drive for Gaunt Brothers Racing

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Multiple reports state that Daniel Suarez will drive the No. 96 Cup car for Gaunt Brothers Racing in 2020.

The team has not made any an announcement.

Toby Christie reported Friday at tobychristie.com that a deal was done for Suarez to drive the full Cup season for Gaunt Brothers Racing. Motorsport.com reported Monday that Suarez would join Gaunt Brothers Racing for the full season.

Suarez would replace Parker Kligerman, who confirmed to NBC Sports on Friday that he would not return to the No. 96 car this season.

This would be the fourth Cup season for Suarez. He drove for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017-18 before being replaced by Martin Truex Jr. Suarez moved to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2019 and was replaced after the season by rookie Cole Custer.

Suarez continues to seek his first Cup win. He has eight top-five and 32 top-10 finishes in 108 Cup starts. He won the 2016 Xfinity title, a year after winning rookie of the year honors in that series.

Gaunt Brothers Racing debuted in 2017, running one race with D.J. Kennington. The team ran 22 races the following year between Kligerman, D.J. KenningtonJeffrey Earnhardt and Jesse Little. The team ran 15 races last year with Drew Herring running once along with Kligerman’s 14 starts.

HighPoint to sponsor Chase Briscoe in multiple Xfinity Series races

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Chase Briscoe will have a new sponsor in 2020 in HighPoint.com, a customer service and technology solutions company, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Tuesday.

Briscoe, who returns for a second full-time Xfinity Series season with SHR, will have HighPoint as a primary sponsor on his No. 98 Ford for 10 races. The Sparta, New Jersey-based company will make its debut with the Feb. 15 season opener at Daytona.

For all other races, HighPoint will be an associate sponsor.

“Even though we race stock cars, there’s nothing stock about what we do,” Briscoe said in a press release. “The science of our cars is impressive, but the technology that goes into building our Ford Mustangs and then making them perform is even more advanced. Our IT needs are pretty complex, and we demand a lot from our technology every day, whether it’s at the shop or at the track. HighPoint is more than just a sponsor – they’re a partner that helps us perform.”

As part of the deal, HighPoint will be the team’s official IT solutions provider.

“Walk around our race shop during the week and the garage area on a race weekend and you’ll see how our race cars and our entire industry relies on technology,” Mike Verlander, SHR’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “From engine diagnostics to fuel-mileage calculations, our business is dependent on service and technology solutions. Every company needs what HighPoint provides, and we’ll work diligently to facilitate those introductions.”