Aug 24, 2013; Bristol, TN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (78) pits during the Irwin Tool Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

OPINION: What Busch’s Move to SHR Really Means


With the “official” announcement being made Tuesday, Kurt Busch has already signed on to be the 4th driver at the Stewart-Haas Racing organization starting in 2014. The big question isn’t how well he is going to perform, but what his move means for those around him.

A few tough years and a couple of rides later, Busch finally found himself a steady ride in 2013 with Furniture Row Racing. Based out of Denver, Colorado, this one-car team is an extension of Richard Childress Racing. The No.78 Chevy has had a variety of drivers but none have taken them to the top quite like Busch has.

Busch currently finds himself in a position to qualify for the Chase, although he has yet to win this season. With six top-5s and eleven top-10s, Busch has been fairly consistent. With only a one-year contract at FRR, all eyes, and offers, were towards Busch to see where he would end up in 2014.

Reports of offers from RCR and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing started surfacing just weeks ago. Even FRR said they wanted to extend their deal with Busch but no one expected an offer to come from SHR.

SHR, originally a two-car team, added a third full-time car in 2013 when Rookie Danica Patrick joined the ranks of the organization. As announced in 2012, Kevin Harvick would be making the switch to SHR in 2014. With a still-green driver (no pun intended) and a new teammate, growing to a four-car team was not in the cards for SHR. Or so we thought.

When the rumors started surfacing last week that an offer had been made, the racing world seemed to be taken by surprise. If SHR could expand to a four-car team then why couldn’t Ryan Newman stay? Unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever know the answer to that question.

Busch moving to SHR isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I think it is a brilliant idea. Having drivers like Busch, Harvick, Patrick and Tony Stewart on the same team could move SHR into the ranks Hendrick Motorsports, another four-car powerhouse. SHR also has a direct partnership with HMS, receiving engines and chassis from their race shop.

So think about it this way if you would, SHR and HMS work closely together when you think about parts and engines. So, in theory, you have one eight-car team comprised of the four drivers from SHR and the four drivers from HMS: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

With 13 Sprint Cup Series Championships between the two teams, SHR and HMS are going to be unstoppable in the coming years. Plus, each team has a very popular and well-liked driver on their team, who also bring in sponsorship dollars; Patrick and Earnhardt Jr.

The way I see it, Kurt Busch moving to Stewart-Haas Racing is nothing but a good thing. 2014 probably won’t be easy for the organization seeing as they struggled at the beginning of 2013 after adding a third team and the new Gen-6 car. Once they get everything sorted out, everyone else better watch their backs.

With Smoke, Happy, The Outlaw and the Danistar in the same race shop and sharing information, the NASCAR world better be ready, 2014 is going to be one great season. And to those in the garage, don’t be surprised of the pranks become more frequent .

Tags: Dale Earnhardt Jr Danica Patrick Furniture Row Racing Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon Jimmie Johnson Kasey Kahne Kevin Harvick Kurt Busch Richard Childress Racing Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Stewart

  • brentsn

    Katie,I thought we might finally disagree on something. Then I read your article and nope , we’re still batting 100% I think. LOL I’m thrilled about Kurt coming to SHR. SHR is my favorite team. Of course Tony is an icon (and from Indiana,like me),I’ve followed Danica for many years(couple of years before IndyCar) and Ryan is from my hometown of South Bend IN. I feel bad for Ryan,but I think he’ll end up at RCR and be just fine. He was almost let go last year,but sponsorship came together almost last minute and SHR signed him to a one year deal. Now what I understand is Gene Haas really likes Kurt Busch. I believe Gene came out and said that if they could sign Kurt , he (his company Haas Automation) would put up the money. Who knows, some company out there might see the potential and want to sponsor Kurt at SHR. Starting a 3rd team last year did not put SHR behind. Starting a 3rd team WITH new gen6 cars did put them behind. SHR will be fine next year. Don’t forget , Tony HAS to kick back and completely take care of business for the next 4 months or so. By January testing he’ll be chomping at the bit to get in the car,Happy Harv will have a new start,Kurt will be itching to prove himself and Danica wil be starting her second full time season with Tony Gibson. It will be the second year for the gen6 cars. Come Daytona , SHR could qualify and finish top 4 !! Possible ! Not only all that ,but the chase hasn’t even started yet and the silliest of all seasons at SHR is done and over! All thats left is support for DP,Mark and especially Newman(to make chase) and fill positions for 2014 teams. Tony has time to sort all that out. Notice next year is 20FOURTEEN !!!!!! I LOVE passion. This team will have the passion. These are 4 passionate racers.4 talented racers. 3 veteran experienced racers that have years and years of stock car experience and success. I’m excited!
    To all the haters,nay-sayers and just plain ignorant people that think they have a right to say what Tony Stewart should and shouldn’t do…Tony is an IndyCar champion,an Indy500 pole winner,3-time NASCAR cup champion plus a champion in every USAC series there is. He’s a sprint car team owner and a NASCAR Sprint Cup co-owner. I would be embarrassed if I had an opinion about what Tony Stewart should and shouldn’t do. Trust me , this guy knows what he’s doing. I can think of 3 people that have a right to an opinion…A.J.Foyt , Mario Andretti and mom Stewart (and mom better be careful) ! Whatever decisions he makes,I don’t care how crazy they seem , I trust him and I will support and back him & his teams 100%. He’s Tony Stewart and its SHR. Excellent job Miss Copple.

    • Katie

      Thanks for reading Brent! And yes, I do believe we are at 100% again! I, at first, wasn’t sure about Busch moving to SHR when the rumored reports started surfacing but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was a brilliant move! 2014 is going to be a GREAT season!

      P.S. referring to SHR struggling at the beginning of this season, by new teams and new car… I meant new team (the No.10) and new car (Gen6) :)