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Stewart-Haas Racing not renewing contract with Kurt Busch



Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch out at Stewart-Haas Racing

Six months after winning NASCAR’s biggest race, Kurt Busch is now a victim of the wildest Silly Season in recent memory. Stewart-Haas Racing has informed Busch the organization will not pick up the option on the 2017 Daytona 500 winner and 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion for next season.  Stewart-Haas has until midnight on Tuesday (when the company’s option expires) to reverse its decision, but the expectation is that Busch will not drive the No. 41 Ford for SHR in 2018. Busch, 38, has 29 Cup series wins, 21 poles, 127 top fives and 252 top 10s in 597 starts. —


Kurt Busch’s contract won’t be renewed by Stewart-Haas Racing

Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch is the latest NASCAR star on the free agent market. Stewart-Haas Racing informed the No. 41 Chevrolet driver that it wouldn’t be picking up his option for next season, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told NBC Sports. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The team had until midnight today to pick up the option. Busch had expressed optimism at Daytona International Speedway that he would return to the team, which he joined in 2014 after a one-season stint with Furniture Row Racing. Busch join Matt Kenseth as a former NASCAR Cup Series champion who doesn’t have a ride for next season.   Here’s a look at the new guidelines and what all this means. WHAT ARE THE NEW GUIDELINES? In 2018, any driver who scores Cup points will be barred from competing in the final eight races of the Xfinity and Truck Series in 2018 (that’s the regular-season finale and the playoffs). Any driver who scores Cup points will be barred from competing in the Dash 4 Cash races in the Xfinity Series in 2018. Cup drivers with more than five years of experience in that series, will be limited to seven Xfinity races and five Truck races. WHAT CHANGED? This year, Cup drivers with less than five years experience are allowed to compete in the playoffs in the Xfinity and Truck Series. The exception is that any driver scoring Cup points is prohibited from competing in the Xfinity and Truck championship race at Homestead. This year, Cup drivers with less than five years experience were allowed in compete in the four Dash 4 Cash races. This year, Cup drivers with more than five years experience in that series are allowed to compete in 10 Xfinity races and seven Truck races this year. WHY IS THIS BEING DONE? NASCAR states it is being done to give younger drivers more opportunities to compete in the Xfinity and Truck races. Also, NASCAR is not tone-deaf to complaints by fans about seeing Cup drivers dominate the Xfintiy Series in particular. Cup drivers won 11 of the first 13 Xfinity races this season. Cup drivers won three of the four Dash 4 Cash races, no doubt a reason for barring Cup drivers in those events next year. IS THIS BEING DONE TO THWART Kyle Busch ? Your viewpoint depends on if you are a Kyle Busch fan. It could make his quest for 100 series wins (he’s at 89) take longer with fewer races per year. He has won 19 of the 39 Xfinity races he’s started since 2015. He’s won six of the 13 Truck races he’s started since 2015. WILL THIS WORK IN ALLOWING MORE DRIVERS OPPORTUNITIES TO RACE IN THE XFINTY OR TRUCK SERIES? It will come down to sponsorship. With top Xfintiy rides costing about $160,000 a race, the question is if enough drivers will be able to find that money to pay to race. Kevin Harvick has raised the issue that Xfinity teams are able to offer lower rates for young drivers to pay to race because those teams have Cup drivers in their cars that bring higher sponsorship dollars. Will this rule change those dynamics and raise the price for young drivers to buy their opportunities? Will teams decide it’s not worth it to lower the cost for drivers to pay and decide to skip some races? If that happens, will NASCAR eventually decide to cut the field size further? Will fans who have complained about Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Truck Series begin attending or watching more of these races? WHAT CUP DRIVERS HAVE WON XFINTIY RACES THIS YEAR? 3 – Kyle Busch (Atlanta, Kentucky, New Hampshire) 3 – Kyle Larson (Auto Club, Richmond, Dover) 1 – Denny Hamlin (Michigan) ANY CONSIDERATION OF LIMITING A CUP TEAM’S PARTICIPATION IN EITHER SERIES? “Not any serious consideration,’’ Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It’s something that we’ve not taken a hard look. I suppose we could. I think there are different ways of going about it. —


Reports: Kurt Busch to part ways with SHR

Kurt Busch has been informed his option won’t be picked up at Stewart-Haas Racing after this season, according to multiple reports. Busch, who won the season-opening Daytona 500 and is 14th in the NASCAR Cup standings, will not return to the team next season, according to reports by NBC Sports and —

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