The long kept secret that Kurt Busch would leave Stewart-Haas Racing for Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season was since confirmed on Tuesday as Busch also brings with him his Monster sponsorship.
But, some also wondered why Busch would leave a dominant four car team that put all four drivers into the Round of 8 of this past year’s playoffs for a team that has struggled in recent years.
For the second straight year, Kyle Larson was bounced from the playoffs in the second round. Jamie McMurray didn’t even make it to the playoffs this season.
CGR has 11 career Cup Series wins, SHR has 12 trips to victory lane in 2018 alone. With him heading into what could possibly be his final full time season in NASCAR, why leave SHR for a potential project with Ganassi?
Busch, doesn’t see it that way at all. In fact, he thinks he and Larson can compete quickly as teammates.
“The way I look at Ganassi and all of his motorsports platforms, IndyCar, sports car, NASCAR, all these type champion type drivers and situations, there’s nothing different with the quantity of cars and equipment and effort,” Busch said of joining Ganassi. “What I see is more of the quality with a two car program with (Kyle) Larson and myself and streamlining the cars and having that transparency amongst the two.
“I don’t see much of a difference in it. I just see a concentrated effort in making sure that the cars go to the race track and there’s that communication that is completely black and white and wide open. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. Sometimes, in a four car program, if one car goes through tech, the other car may not go through the same way and by time you get the fourth car, things are very different. I just like a challenge of this whole thing.
“Two car team, that’s where I think the positivity of a balance shift where all the efforts are put into two and not spread across four.”
Ganassi, likes the veteran presence that Busch brings and said that he’s a great guy to have around.
“I’ve had calls from two different people on his previous team saying that they’re going to miss him,” Ganassi said of his most recent hire in Busch. “They liked him around the shop. They like how he got involved around the cars. They liked his input. They liked what he did as a builder of the team and him as a teammate. Any time we have a guy like that they, A know how to win races and B is a good guy in the locker room per say, that brings something to the team that will only enhance a young guy like a Larson or one of the younger guys that we have that don’t have the experience.”
Another thing that Busch is likely drawn to with Ganassi is what other programs that he does have as well. It’s no secret, Busch would love to try the Ford GT in IMSA. He’d also like another shot at the Indianapolis 500. CGR, has teams in both series. Busch stated that he’d likely be done with full time NASCAR driver after 2019, not racing in general.
Ganassi, said nothing is off limits for the Las Vegas native either.
“My conversations with Kurt, all that stuff is available,” Ganassi said on if this deal could include the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona or the Indy 500. “All of our cars are available to all of our drivers. I think it’s a matter if the opportunity presents itself and there’s obviously a lot more than me saying hey lets do it and him says I’m game. The important part is those things are available for conversations. I’m certainly on the table if need be.”