The news that had been known ‘off the record’ for several months became official Tuesday as it was announced that Kurt Busch is moving to the No. 1 car of Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2019 season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and bringing Monster Energy as primary sponsor.
The 2004 Monster Energy Series champion is leaving SHR after winning six victories there, including the 2017 Daytona 500 with crew chief Tony Gibson. He will replace Jamie McMurray, who had driven for Ganassi since 2010 when it was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Monster Energy will be the primary sponsor.
“I am tremendously proud to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing and the prestigious group of alumni,” Busch said in a team release. “Along with Monster Energy, winning races and competing at the highest level, it’s what we are all about. Ganassi’s forward thinking approach is why I have decided to commit all my years of Monster Energy Cup experience to CGR.”
Busch is a 19-year veteran of the sport who has 30 wins on NASCAR’s highest level. He qualified for the playoffs in all five seasons while at SHR. His latest victory came in the Bristol Night Race in August 2018.
In the No. 41 Ford, Busch advanced to the Round of 8 in 2018 for the third time over the past four seasons. He was eliminated from this year’s postseason at ISM Raceway in Phoenix following an on-track incident late in the race.
Before SHR, Busch drove for Furniture Row Racing full time in 2013 and for part of the 2012 season. Busch began his premier series career driving for Jack Roush, and he was driving for Roush during his championship season in 2004.
“We have had the good fortune of having a lot of great drivers here at Chip Ganassi Racing across all forms of racing and Kurt Busch adds to that list of great drivers,” team owner Ganassi said in a news release. “He is a former NASCAR Cup Series champion and Daytona 500 winner and I believe still has a burning desire to win races and compete for a championship. In addition, getting to work with and represent a brand like Monster Energy makes it even that much more exciting.”
Kurt and brother Kyle each have at least 30 victories on the premier series level, the only sibling duo to accomplish the feat in NASCAR history.