KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Story by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — SHR photo —
Kurt Busch and officials from Stewart Haas Racing announced on Wednesday that the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has been signed to a multi-year extension with SHR, beginning with the 2016 season.
In addition, Monster Energy will join SHR as a co-primary sponsor of Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet, also on a multi-year agreement, that will see the energy drink brand serve as the alpha sponsor (hood) for 17 races and the bravo sponsor (quarter panel) for 18 races next year, with one race of full primary sponsorship. Monster Energy will also become the official energy drink of Stewart Haas Racing as part of the new deal.
“I’m very happy to be back with Stewart-Haas Racing and proud to take Monster Energy to the Sprint Cup Series,” said Busch, who has won three races and three poles since joining SHR in 2014. “This is exactly where I want to be and I have two partners who want to win as much as I do. It’s a tremendous day, because to me, this has been a fantastic year both statistics-wise and behind the wheel. There’s been so much support from everyone on the team, that to feel the love, the camaraderie and this passion to win — it’s really a dream come true.”
“I can’t thank Gene Haas and Tony Stewart enough for the opportunity to be a part of this team. We’ve accomplished a lot in our two years together, but there’s so much more I want to do for them, for Haas Automation and for Monster Energy. It’s great knowing we’ll be able to keep the momentum we have and extend it into next year and beyond. There’s so much ahead of us, and I can’t wait to get the [Monster Energy] claw on the track and ultimately to victory lane.”
The agreement sees Monster Energy break into the Cup level after four years as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where they have earned 26 wins with Joe Gibbs Racing and drivers Kyle Busch, Sam Hornish Jr. and Erik Jones since the beginning of the 2013 season.
Monster also scored a victory with Kurt Busch in the XFINITY Series, when the elder Busch was driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Richmond in 2012.
“Kurt Busch has been a member of the Monster Energy team since 2012 and we’re very happy to take his involvement with us to a whole new level,” said Mitch Covington, vice president of sports marketing for Monster Energy. “The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the premiere form of stock-car racing in North America and it’s exactly where we want to be. Kurt and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing are racers. They walk the walk, just like Monster Energy.”
Since joining Stewart Haas Racing prior to the 2014 Sprint Cup campaign, Kurt Busch has scored three wins and three poles at the controls of the No. 41 Chevrolet. SHR boasts, in total, two Sprint Cup championships (2011 and 2014), 30 races and 26 poles since its debut with co-owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas in 2009.
“I’ve always respected Kurt’s talent and determination, and I’m glad it’s staying at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Stewart said. “Kurt can win at every racetrack we visit, and his feedback and attention to detail make our entire organization better.”
“I’m really excited about this entire deal coming together. Since Kurt’s come on board, he’s probably been the one guy that I’ve leaned on the most [for success]. It seems like, when it comes to the race weekends, that our setups are probably the closest out of anyone’s on the team — so I really lean on him for information and we’ve been able to communicate so well as far as the feel of the car that it’s been a tremendous help. He’s someone that I really like and believe in as a driver, so this is a great time and a great place to be at Stewart Haas Racing.”
“Kurt Busch gives us the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year,” Haas added. “This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it’s why we invest in his abilities.”
The new agreement will begin with a precursor to the 2016 campaign, with Monster Energy debuting its sponsorship during the Oct. 30-Nov. 1 race weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
While it was not officially announced what will happen with Monster’s XFINITY program due to their move to SHR, team owner Joe Gibbs said on Wednesday to ESPN’s Bob Pockrass that JGR is “working on sponsorship for the No. 54 car in 2016, but has nothing to announce as of yet.”
For more information on Kurt Busch and Stewart Haas Racing, visit the team on the web at www.stewarthaasracing.com.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 21-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: [email protected]
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