Andretti Autosport

Kurt Busch eyes racing in Cup through 2021, another IndyCar effort

Leave a comment

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kurt Busch said talks are progressing with Chip Ganassi Racing on a contract extension and that he also has talked with the team about possibly running another IndyCar race.

Busch, who signed a one-year contract with the Ganassi before this season, said he’s excited about the Next Gen car in Cup that will debut in 2021 and that driving that car is “part of my decision-making with trying to extend my contract with Ganassi.”

The 2004 Cup champion said talks with the team are “headed in a good direction.”

Busch also said that “some of my talks with Ganassi are about an IndyCar.”

He was the 2014 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year after finishing sixth for Andretti Autosport. Busch also noted that with talk of a possible IndyCar/NASCAR weekend in the future, he would be interested in running that IndyCar race, depending on where it would be.

Chip Ganassi Racing is scheduled to field full-time IndyCar entries in 2020 for Scott Dixon, Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson.

Busch, 41, isn’t the only Cup driver who is interested in driving an IndyCar at some point. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson has expressed an interest in running an IndyCar on a road course. Kyle Busch also has expressed an interest in running an IndyCar.

Report: Kurt Busch thinking about running in 100th Indianapolis 500

(Getty Images)
4 Comments

Kurt Busch has the Indy itch again. The question now is whether he’ll scratch it.

Two years after finishing sixth in his rookie – and only – appearance in the Indianapolis 500, Busch told AutoWeek’s Matt Weaver that the lure of potentially competing in May’s 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing is alluring.

“Possibly,” Busch told Weaver. “That’s especially true since it’s the 100th running. There’s a lot of sponsorship opportunities, be it Haas Automation, Chevrolet or Monster Energy.”

But like a good soldier, Busch quickly added that his day job as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver still remains No. 1 in his mind.

“But for now, my focus is on Stewart-Haas Racing, the No. 41 car and locking ourselves into the Chase as soon as possible this season,” Busch told Weaver.

With four months remaining until what will arguably be the most celebrated 500 in decades, Busch hasn’t done much in pursuing a ride as yet.

In 2014, he drove for Andretti Autosport at Indianapolis, started 12th and finished sixth. Team owner Michael Andretti said afterward that Busch could drive for him again any time he wanted.

Although there have been no formal discussions to date, Busch may just try to take Andretti up on that offer, although it’s questionable whether Chevrolet would let him race again for a Honda-powered team as he did in 2014.

But if there’s no room with Andretti/Honda, Busch wouldn’t rule out driving for another team, but with one stipulation:

It has to be a competitive ride. It may be hard to find one at this late date, but Busch isn’t letting the idea go.

“I’ve seen some deals get put together as late as May 1,” Busch told AutoWeek. “Mine didn’t come together until March 31. There’s time to do this, but my biggest concern is the lack of competitive rides still left.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski