Sam Sneed once said, “The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back. The great champions have all come back from defeat.”
Throughout his two decades in NASCAR’s Cup Series, Kurt Busch has found a way to rise to the top and his time with Chip Ganassi Racing is no exception.
On Saturday, Ganassi and Busch announced the 2004 champion will continue behind the wheel of the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet in 2020 and beyond.
“January 1, I wanted to race again next year and the year after,” Busch said of his relationship with Chip Ganassi. “The way our season started was tremendous. We exceeded expectations in all areas and I knew that would resonate with our manufacturer, with our sponsor and our team.”
Busch, 41, joined Ganassi Racing at the end of last season. He has amassed 31 wins, 27 poles, 143 top fives and 297 top 10s in 681 Cup starts. He’s qualified for 13 of 16 Cup Playoffs since NASCAR changed the format in 2004 and has won in all but two seasons since his rookie year. Busch has also scored five Xfinity Series wins and four victories in trucks.
Busch has also competed in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 (sixth), 2005 and 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona (15th, third), 2003, 2004 and 2005 IROC (first, fifth, sixth) and he won the 1999 Southwest Series title. Given Busch’s experience and technical acumen with a variety of cars, he’ll continue to be a huge asset to Ganassi as the sport transitions to the new Generation 7 car.
“The decisions that went into all of this was what 2021 looks like and 2020 with the bridge to get there,” Busch added. “And Ganassi and the group all made it come together in the last week.”
With Busch coming on board this season, it marks the first time both Ganassi drivers have won since 2010.
“You have multiple people within these teams and you’re always searching for the right mix—the right group of people to work together as a team whether it’s what happens on Monday, what happens on Tuesday,” Ganassi said. “Every day, these guys work very hard. The pit crews, everybody knows the work that goes into the team.
“We’ve all been in these situations when you bring one person in and it changes the entire complexion of a team—and that’s exactly what happened here. The team is exactly the same as it was one year ago. We brought one person in and it changed the entire complexion of the team and it was him.”
Ganassi Racing was founded in 1990. The company fields cars in IndyCar, NASCAR and Sports Cars. Ganassi holds seven IndyCar titles, four Champ Car championships and five Grand-Am titles. His teams have won four Indy 500s (2000, 2008, 2010 and 2012). Ganassi has 24 NASCAR Cup Series wins including the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.
Busch’s relationship with Monster has grown over the last decade.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be making this announcement,” Ganassi said. “We have developed a great relationship with Rodney Sacks (Monster CEO) and everyone at Monster. We look forward to this partnership lasting for a very long time.”