As a free agent, Kurt Busch says he has more options

Kurt Busch (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – At the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 1, Kurt Busch became a free agent when Stewart-Haas Racing declined to pick up the option on the 2017 Daytona 500 winner.

That doesn’t mean, necessarily, that Busch won’t be back in the No. 41 SHR Ford next year. In fact, the organization announced in a tweet that the expectation is that Busch will be back.

However, Busch also has the opportunity to negotiate with other team owners about filling potentially empty seats.

“They chose not to pick up their option, but I see it as good options for me,” Busch told reporters before Saturday morning’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice. “I’m not too worried about it. I feel like there’s more options out there than exist here (at Stewart-Haas alone).”

Busch, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Friday, indicated he has already heard from a number of interested suitors.

“The phone didn’t stop ringing all week, not just because it was my birthday,” he said. “I’m looking for the best possible option to race a competitive car that’s got a chance to win races, win poles and compete for a championship. There’s different cars that are options for me, and Stewart-Haas is one of them…

“The disruption of them not picking up my option, it gets the crew guys all flustered. Ford is very surprised by it. And so we’ve just got to stay focused, stay sharp. There’s no reason to not think that I couldn’t be back here. It’s just a matter of making it all work out. I’m not too worried about it.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.