Kurt Busch Confirms Move to Chip Ganassi Racing for 2019 NASCAR Season
Chip Ganassi Racing takes Jamie McMurray out of the car to make room for Kurt Busch.
Kurt Busch is the new driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the race team revealed Tuesday. He replaces Jamie McMurray, a longtime driver for the outfit.
“I am tremendously proud to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing and the prestigious group of alumni,” Busch said in a press release from CGR. "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. Let’s win; let’s have fun.”
Busch’s longtime sponsor Monster Energy made the move to Chip Ganassi Racing with him.
McMurray has been offered a leadership role at CGR in addition to an opportunity to drive a car in the 2019 season-opening Daytona 500. He hasn’t announced his specific plans for next season but has hinted at no longer racing full-time in NASCAR’s top series.
“I had opportunities to drive [for other teams]; they just weren’t opportunities I wanted,” McMurray said during the last race weekend of the 2018 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. “I was fighting for one of the [open] rides. There was a point that, honestly, I looked at it, and I was like, 'I don’t know that I want them to call me back.' I was fighting, because I thought it was the right thing to do, but I wanted to drive [for Ganassi]. I like this team, and I have so much history. I didn’t want to bounce somewhere else for a year and be unhappy.”
Busch officially announced via Twitter on Sunday evening that he would be leaving Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has driven the No. 41 Ford since 2014.
Chip Ganassi Racing tweeted a video Tuesday, promoting Busch’s arrival.
The 2019 season will be Busch’s 20th in the NASCAR Cup Series. After running seven races in 2000, he went full-time in the series a year later. He has 30-career wins in 648 races, driving for teams including Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Phoenix Racing, Furniture Row Racing, and SHR. He was the 2004 premier series champion, the second-straight Cup Series title for team owner Jack Roush.
In his five years with Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch won six races, including one in 2018 at Bristol Motor Speedway.