Kurt Busch confirmed on Tuesday that he would be driving the No. 41 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing during the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
On Monday, reports circulated (first reported by Motorsport.com) that the defending Daytona 500 champion would be returning for his fifth season at SHR. And after months of speculation and SHR declining to renew Busch’s contract in early August, the 2004 series champion isn’t going anywhere.
“Having my hard work pay off by winning the … 2017 Daytona 500 has given me the drive to continue conquering the NASCAR world,” Busch said in a statement. “I am excited to enter the 2018 racing season as a Monster Energy athlete where I will continue to drive my favorite manufacturer, the Ford Motor Company.
“Knowing that SHR is committed to optimum performance, I believe that I have everything I need to win races this season and take home the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. I look forward to taking on next year with my team, sponsors and determination.”
Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, Busch has recorded five victories, winning in each of the four seasons. In 141 events in the No. 41 car, he has 31 top-five efforts, while posting 68 top 10s.
Busch ended 2017 14th in the championship standings, his worst since hopping over to SHR. During the 10-race playoffs, he won the pole at Texas Motor Speedway, but had just two top 10s, including a runner-up finish at Kansas Speedway.
Haas Automation and Monster Energy will return to sponsor the No. 41 machine, as the two companies have split the primary sponsorship role with Busch over the past two seasons.